Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category
Thinglist isn’t like most iPhone apps. Its promo video includes no glockenspiels , acoustic guitar strums , or coffee-sipping cafe dwellers . Instead, a man appears from of the darkness and says, “You know, I don’t have the best memory” as a piano drones ominously in the background. If you weren’t keenly aware that this was a trailer for a to-do app, you might think you were watching the first few moments of a bloody film noir
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Never forget with Thinglist, a fun way to organize and remember things
Under new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has been working on expanding the services it offers across multiple platforms and its latest move on that front is the acquisition of Astrid. The Astrid Tasks and To-do list app is a popular productivity manager on Android and iOS, particularly notable for its tie-ins with Google Calendar and the ability to assign tasks to others. In a blog post, CEO and co-founder Jon Paris announced the company will be joining Yahoo’s mobile team with a goal of “making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining.” As for existing users, the service will continue to work as-is for 90 days, and those who have paid for annual subscriptions to add on file storage, backup and more can expect refunds from Yahoo. There will also be a way for users to download all their data, although there aren’t any details on that yet. Astrid had received funding from Google Ventures, among others, but as shown by the launch of Google Keep it seems the usual giants in tech will be focusing on in-house ways to offer productivity features.
Microsoft first unveiled its OneNote Windows 8 app in July last year, and the company hasn’t made any significant changes to the initial release since then. However, Microsoft is updating its note-taking application today to improve its pen and inking support. OneNote for Windows 8 previously supported ink, but the latest update adds a choice of customizable pens. A radial menu will appear when a stylus hovers over the screen, providing a quick way to customize and switch between pens
Microsoft would really, really like us to drop our stand-alone copies of Office in favor of Office 365 subscriptions. Really. Division president Kurt DelBene prefers to lure us in with the carrot rather than the stick, however, and just hinted at the company’s TechForum that there will likely be a “rapid cadence” of upgrades to keep productivity fans happy. There’s even the prospect of new apps coming out for subscribers. While that’s tempting, DelBene also wants to allay fears that we’ll be dragged kicking and screaming into the company’s recurring revenue model
Amplify, an educational unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, made a surprising announcement today, unveiling a new tablet designed for public school classrooms. As the New York Times reports , the 10-inch Android tablet will be officially presented Wednesday at an SXSWedu event led by Joel Klein, News Corp executive vice president, former chancellor of New York City’s public school system, and an ardent supporter of tech-savvy classrooms. “We understand technology and we understand education,” Klein told the Times . “A lot of people who understand technology don’t understand education.” Continue reading…
News Corp unveils Amplify tablet for use in classrooms
Sharp has just confirmed reports that it is getting a 10.4 billion yen (about $111.6 million) capital infusion from Samsung. While that sum only gives Samsung a three percent stake in Sharp, it would make it the biggest individual shareholder that isn’t a financial institution and the fifth-largest stakeholder overall. The deal gives Samsung access to Sharp’s LCD supply (particularly its 32-inch television screens), and Sharp will use the cash to expand and improve its TV and smartphone panel production. Continue reading…
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Samsung invests $112 million in Sharp to secure LCD supply
Microsoft’s latest vision of the future includes spaces where users interact with giant displays. Apart from looking great, Microsoft believes the cost of these devices will drop significantly enough to make them commonplace in offices of the future. To enable productivity and increased interactivity between devices and these displays, Microsoft is researching a number of ways of improving the experience of sharing data to and from these screens. At the company’s annual TechFest this week, one particular demonstration focuses on providing contextual menus instead of making users reach to the side of the display or to the top for interaction menus. It’s a minor improvement in the grand scheme of touchscreen interaction, but when you’re..
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Microsoft demonstrates touch productivity improvements on large screen devices
We know what you think this hands-on is about. That laptop you see up there has a Tobii eye-tracking sensor affixed to it, and you’re probably wondering why we’re still dwelling on it after getting hands-on twice at CES 2012 and once more at CES 2013. But that’s not what we’re here to show you today.
More Info Samsung announces Series 5 and Series 7 Windows 8 tablets with S Pen apps, optional keyboards Samsung ATIV Smart PC review (AT&T LTE) Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro tablet with LTE clears the FCC At this point we’ve seen countless Windows 8 devices — Ultrabooks, convertibles and hybrids, oh my — but to date there are only a few in the latter category running Ultrabook-grade processors. Exhibit A, of course, is Microsoft’s long-awaited Surface Pro , but Samsung also has a horse in the race: the ATIV Smart PC Pro. This $1,200 machine packs a Core i5 CPU and includes a keyboard dock and an S Pen to appeal to productivity-minded users. We’ve spent some time with this 11.6-inch hybrid’s Atom-powered sibling, the ATIV Smart PC , and walked away unimpressed
It’s no secret that copies of Office 2013 bind themselves to a single computer, but Microsoft has now confirmed to Computerworld that the software’s license can’t be reassigned to another PC, as is possible with Office 2010. When asked whether a license could be transferred to another machine if the original rig was destroyed, lost or stolen, Microsoft replied with a frosty, “No comment.” However, Redmond did mention that the productivity suite could be reinstalled on the same PC after a crash. Just how Ballmer and Co.
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Microsoft confirms Office 2013 licenses can’t be transferred to other computers
This year’s Grammy Awards weren’t as packed with gadget advertising — gadvertising* — as the Super Bowl , but Microsoft and Google still coughed up to hawk their wares. The former wanted to demonstrate the productivity chops of the Surface Pro with a commercial that implies the device will cause your employees to breakdance involuntarily. Google, on the other hand, wanted to show off the powers of the Nexus 4 and Google Now to help you distinguish between fish and vegetables, in case the smell isn’t enough. Curious to know more?
We all know the feeling. You’re sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn’t cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future?
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The best writing of the week, February 10
It’s still the same old story , really. Amazon pulls in revenues equal to a small nation’s GDP and makes a small profit for itself in the process. In this case, particularly small.
What is it with Canadian stores potentially spoiling launch plans ? Fresh from revealing a white PS3 bundle on late notice, Best Buy Canada and its Future Shop sibling are both listing multiple entries for Microsoft’s Office 2013 and Office 365 in downloadable and retail forms. We’ll refrain from comments on pricing given possible cross-border markups, but all of the entries are shown arriving January 29th. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed anything beyond its established first-quarter target , so take the date with the requisite grains of salt; any truth to the schedule, though, will leave just a short wait for productivity mavens. Filed under: Software , Microsoft Comments Via: Neowin Source: Best Buy Canada , Future Shop
It looks like we finally have a launch date for Microsoft Office 2013: January 29th. The date comes courtesy of a pre-order page on Canadian retailer Future Shop’s website for Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service, which says that the product is set to be released on the 29th. Other rumors have corroborated that date, and our own sources have confirmed that the 29th is accurate. Office 2013, Microsoft’s latest version of its iconic productivity suite , has been available to businesses since mid-November , and consumers have been able to try it out in preview form for quite some time
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Office 2013 looks set for January 29th as pre-orders begin to emerge
Americans who picked up a Samsung tablet in 2012 may have a surprise this weekend: the company has confirmed that it’s rolling out its promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update to US, Wi-Fi only versions of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and both Galaxy Tab 2 sizes. As we know by now, Note 10.1 owners squeeze the most out of the software revamp with S Pen features borrowed from the Galaxy Note II , such as Air View’s hover-to-peek functionality, Quick Command shortcuts and the ability to clip content. There’s also a tablet-specific Cascade View to see more than two apps at once. Galaxy Tab 2 users don’t get much as much in the bargain, although we wouldn’t knock the promised speed improvements inherent to Google’s OS refresh.
Evernote has been one busy bee, er, pachyderm lately — extending its proverbial trunk to a more professional crowd with the launch of Evernote Business and even cozying up to Samsung’s Terminator-sounding T9000 smart-fridge . For its next trick, the popular productivity app is giving some extra love to Windows Phone users by way of a feature-laden update. One of the shiny new bells and whistles is support for the aforementioned Evernote Business, including note creation and searching via Business Notebooks. There’s also a new PIN lock feature to ensure that your notes can’t be viewed when sharing your Windows phone with members of the unwashed masses.
Refrigerators with touchscreens haven’t made much of a dent in the American home, but they’re certainly a staple at CES. Samsung’s latest entry, the rather large 32 cubic-foot four-door T9000 LCD, isn’t exactly new territory for the company. At 2011′s show the the RF4982 showed what was possible with an 8-inch display and a few productivity apps, but the 9000 adds some much needed versatility by integrating Evernote into the Linux-based OS.
USB flash drives are used for productivity, general storage, and even espionage — and in a seemingly ridiculous twist, they can now also be used as vibrators thanks to the Duet Lux. The New York Times looks at this new device: a memory drive that doubles as a vibrator using a silicone tip. The invention was originally intended purely for use as a vibrator that could be recharged via USB, but the compact design led focus group testers to ask if it could also be used for storage. As unusual as it sounds, the booming vibrator market is nothing to scoff at; the NYT says several companies have been working on making the vibrator a “lifestyle product” through design and innovation. Continue reading…
Wunderlist is one of those apps that’s beloved by productivity nerds, but not very well known outside of those circles. Part of the appeal came from its availability on almost every platform out there. To reach true OS agnosticism 6Wunderkinder, however, relied on HTML5 — which makes porting an app easy, but comes with its own drawbacks, including lackluster performance. (Just ask Mark Zuckerberg .) With the revamp, Wunderlist 2, the task management platform now has truly native apps for Android, iOS, OS X and Windows to compliment its web site. There are a few new features, including push notifications, reminders and reoccurring tasks, but it’s the dramatically smoother and speedier operation that’s the real story here
For Windows Phone users, the news out of Google today couldn’t be much worse. The company announced it’s removing support for Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol for new devices from January 30th, 2013. Google Apps for business accounts will be unaffected and existing devices that are setup to sync mail, calendar, and contacts will work fine, but new devices will not be able to use the Exchange ActiveSync protocol with Gmail. It’s a big blow to Windows Phone and part of a bigger feud between the companies over the past few months.
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Google drops a Gmail-shaped bomb on Windows Phone
TweetDeck today announced a new feature that may not nab it any design or productivity awards, but, still, it’ll surely be appreciated by some power users of the Twitter-owned client. And while the ability to embed tweets isn’t exactly novel at this point (Twitter’s had it for many months), it’s still nice to now have the option present on both the web and Chrome versions of the application — which, in turn, should make it easier to insert select snippets from the Blue Bird social network into your personal website or blog. Besides the “Embed this Tweet,” TweetDeck didn’t make any other additions, though the service did make it clear that it spends “a lot of time improving TweetDeck for a large consumption of Tweets, as this is one of the core uses of the product.” Onto the next one then. Filed under: Internet Comments Via: The Next Web Source: Tweetdeck
In an unexpected move, David Kappos will step down as Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in January, after serving for four years. The news leaked earlier today on the PatentlyO blog , but a USPTO spokesperson has since confirmed the news to Bloomberg . A former IBM attorney, Kappos was a well-liked and extremely well-respected Director who focused on nuts-and-bolts application of the law — he was tasked with implementing the America Invents Act after guiding it through passage in 2011, and he also increased the number of patent examiners to reduce the enormous backlog of patent applications and increase the quality of granted patents. He also set up a partnership with Stack Exchange to help crowdsource prior art…
The Commodore 64 may have made its debut back in 1982, but if Paul Koller has his way, you’ll still be able to play new games on it for the foreseeable future. Koller has turned his passion for the C64 into an interesting hobby: porting modern indie games to the ancient platform. It all started in 2010 when he released a demo of Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV , and it continued with the release of C64anabalt , a port of Adam Saltsman’s iPhone hit Canabalt . Now he’s working on a C64 version of Super Crate Box — and soon you’ll even be able to buy it on a cartridge. Koller says that he’s been interested in creating things for the C64 since he was a child in the mid-eighties, though he never really took things too seriously
Even though Samsung only announced volume production of ultra-fast eMMC memory chips back in August , it’s already upgrading to a newer generation of hardware. Moving from the previous 20nm process to 10nm, the new 64GB eMMC Pro Class 2000 has a 20 percent smaller physical footprint, and claims 30 percent advantages in both performance and manufacturing productivity. While its previous chips only starting taking advantage of JEDEC ‘s eMMC 4.5 interface standard a few months ago, Samsung plans to approach the group next year to create a new standard that can handle this design. It has a write speed of 2,000 IOPS (input/output per second) and a read speed of 5,000 IOPS, besting the 1,500/3,500 numbers reported on the older hardware, and kicks up the bandwidth to 260 MB/s read and 50MB/s write.