Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category
Amazon has opened pre-orders for its Kindle Fire tablets in over 170 countries and expanded its Android Appstore in nearly 200 regions . It’s the biggest device rollout the company has embarked on since it entered the tablet market, and sees it take on Apple in terms of availability and distribution. Before today, the Kindle Fire was available in only seven countries — including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
At a press event in Tokyo today, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced the long-awaited Japanese debut of Square. It’s a big deal for the company — its first expansion outside of North America, and in the third-largest economy in the world. But Japan also presents some unique challenges. The country is still overwhelmingly cash-based, and Square competitor PayPal launched its own PayPal Here payment system last year without much fanfare. But Dorsey thinks his company can take off where others have failed to
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Square arrives in Japan, its first market outside North America
Lenovo’s just announced its Q4 and full year 2012/13 financial results, and it’s touched new highs on the two most important indices. It earned $127 million on $7.8 billion in revenue for the quarter and $34 billion for the full year, both records for the company, while netting $635 million in profit for the full year — another all-time high. The only sore spot for Q4 was Lenovo’s laptop business, which dropped two percent over last year to $4.2 billion, but that’s a far milder plummet than many PC makers saw — thanks to a 74 percent revenue growth in China. Otherwise, desktop PCs held flat for the company at $2.4 billion during an otherwise down period, and it held firm as China’s number two smartphone manufacturer, seeing shipments grow at 206 percent year-over-year, double the average rate. It remains to be seen if Lenovo can continue to buck the downward PC trend that’s continued unabated with the release of Windows 8 — but if not, maybe we’d finally see some of its smartphones over here.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son wants Sprint, and he’s willing to make some significant concessions to get hold of it, like letting the US government choose one of the 10 directors to its board. The Wall Street Journal reported the news today, writing that the director in question will be in charge of overseeing national security issues. At the same time, rival Dish is hoping to derail SoftBank’s bid with a major PR blitz against its Japanese opponent, running full-page color ads in Washington publications like The Washington Post, Politico, and The National Journal, reports Reuters . The ads reportedly compare SoftBank’s proposal to acquire Sprint to the 2006 controversy surrounding Dubai Ports World’s ownership of various ports on… Continue reading…
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SoftBank pledges to work with US government as Dish sparks national security fears
AMD boasted that its Z-60 Hondo chip would bring Call of Duty to thin tablets , and its boasts were for naught, but it looks like the company’s latest processor core is going to see a lot of use in the next generation of cheap laptops. Today, AMD has revealed its basic performance claims for its Jaguar core, the same one that’s reportedly built into the chips in both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 . The resulting Temash and Kabini APUs could finally have the combination of performance and battery life you’d need in an inexpensive Windows 8 tablet or laptop. While some of AMD’s charts are a little misleading out of context, this one is fairly straightforward: AMD claims that its low-power Temash system-on-chip simultaneously manages to… Continue reading…
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AMD Jaguar: the Xbox One and PS4 cores that could power your next cheap laptop
Microsoft is updating its Windows Phone YouTube app today. In a statement to The Verge, the company says it’s making some changes to address concerns from Google. “Microsoft updated the Windows Phone YouTube app to address the restricted video and offline video access concerns voiced by Google last week,” says a spokesperson. “We have been in contact with Google and continue to believe that our two companies can work together to hone an app that benefits our mutual customers, partners and content providers.” The update follows Google’s demand for Microsoft to remove the YouTube app fully from its Windows Phone Store.
“Captain Geoffrey Spaulding” shares this vintage ad on Flickr, and a quick Google reveals that it’s a promo card for a short-lived program on a Philadelphia TV station in 1954: “Let Scott do it.” No known tape exists, and if it does, it’s definitely not online. That’s Mister Rivets pouring coffee.
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A local television robot, from WPTZ-Philadelphia, 1954
It’s been a heck of a couple weeks since we last broadcasted: BlackBerry Live, Google I/O, and CTIA all happened. Needless to say, we’ve got quite a bit to talk about — and you didn’t hear it from us, but we might just have a special guest joining us. Seriously, keep that under your hat. Top secret
We’ve seen the rapid voice search advancements Google has made in Chrome for the desktop , but since Siri is currently the sole method of entering voice queries on the iOS version, iPhone and iPad owners haven’t been given the same treatment. That’s soon going to change, as Google today announced that a forthcoming update to Chrome for iOS will include its own voice search technology. It’s not as simple as hitting a button on Apple’s pop-up keyboard (Siri occupies that spot), but Google has added a microphone shortcut that appears directly above the keyboard. Tapping that will let you take advantage of Google’s often faster (and arguably more accurate) voice search on iPhone and iPad
Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek died Monday of cancer at 74. He produced the first four albums by seminal L.A. punk band X. Today in the Los Angeles Times, X’s Exene Cervenka and John Doe speak about their memories of Manzarek as a generous teacher and a kind friend
Another high-level HTC executive has left the company. CNET reports that HTC Asia’s CEO Lennard Hoornik has now parted ways with the company after being on leave for two months. Hoornik was in charge of HTC’s Asian operations for just two years. It’s not clear why he was on leave, nor is it known whose decision the exit was
HTC Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik joins executive exodus
A new report from Oxfam estimates that at least $18.47 trillion is being held by individuals in so-called “tax haven” countries across the globe. The international agency says that a large bulk of that (approximately $12.29 trillion) can be traced to the EU. Oxfam says if you were to add all of that up, it’d be enough to end extreme poverty twice over. “These figures put the UK at the centre of a global tax system that is a colossal betrayal of people here and in the poorest countries who are struggling to get by, and put the government on the side of the privileged few,” said Emma Seery, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services
Despite being a driving source of interest in books, films, or TV shows, fanfiction faces an uncertain reaction from authors. Some have embraced it, others have tacitly accepted it, and a few have lashed out at fanfiction writers. But so far, virtually no one has done what bookseller Amazon now promises: offered to pay them for writing in other people’s universes. ” Kindle Worlds ,” announced just now, is an offshoot of Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing program.
Amazon has proposed to add a huge artificial biome to its new Seattle campus. Rather than being decorative, however, the enormous greenhouse, which comprises of three 80-to-95 feet high connected domes, will serve as a work space. The new building will be filled with plants separated into botanical zones reflecting a number of different ecologies, and all the plants will be selected for their “ability to co-exist in a microclimate that also suits people.” The five-story complex will contain office space, meeting rooms, lounge areas, in-house dining, and publicly-accessible retail spaces. It makes up a tiny portion of Amazon’s planned “Rufus” campus, situated in a landscaped park between the three main 37-story office towers. If the…
Earlier this year, Microsoft discontinued its Xbox Live Gold Family Pack , an option for families to purchase multiple Gold memberships at a reduced rate. It now appears that it’s making its way back to the Xbox One in one way or another. Polygon reports that multiple accounts will be able to share an Xbox Live Gold membership from a console. “Anybody who has usage privilege on that machine can use it,” says Microsoft’s Phil Harrison, indicating that the system could be familiar to the Family Pack method of assigning Xbox Live Gold to additional accounts. Discussing the family aspect, Harrison describes a way for a father and son to have separate accounts while sharing the same Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Qualcomm has demonstrated a new prototype Mirasol display for use in smartphones, marking a return to the reflective technology designed to allow for comfortable outdoor reading on color e-readers and other devices. The new prototype is 5.1 inches diagonally and has a resolution of 2560 x 1440; at 576 pixels per inch, the display is sharper than the 443 ppi 5-inch 1080p panels that have found their way into multiple smartphones over the past six months. Engadget saw the prototype at SID Display Week in Vancouver, Canada, and reported that while the colors are somewhat less vibrant than those exhibited on other screen technologies, Qualcomm claims the display is six times more power efficient than LCD and OLED screens. The new… Continue reading…
We’ve already been told a fifth season of Arrested Development on Netflix is unlikely due to scheduling issues with the show’s busy ensemble. But it turns out show creator Mitch Hurwitz barely managed to get everyone together for season four — set to debut on the streaming service this weekend. In fact, he often couldn’t. In an interview with Rolling Stone , Hurwitz admitted that not only were episodes and scenes shot out of order to accomodate cast members, but also revealed “half of the stuff is on green screen.” He cites one example to illustrate the challenges show runners faced: an on-screen conversation Michael (Jason Bateman) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) required the actors to film their lines four months apart
Google has been spending quite a lot of time tweaking , streamlining and generally beautifying the interface of its “social backbone.” But while the mobile apps and desktop site have seen near constant updates, the mobile Google+ site has languished slightly behind. Today Mountain view is delivering a little bit of parity for those on platforms that don’t have an official app, such as Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10. The update brings the new card UI to the phone-focused version, along with easier to see and tap +1 and re-share buttons. The updated profile experience is also going mobile, with large cover photos and more touch friendly icons coming to both personal profiles and pages.
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Google+ adds card UI and larger cover photos to mobile site
Six months after promising to integrate sight recognition technology into its HERE suite of apps , Nokia has finally updated HERE Maps with LiveSight. The update is available today in the Windows Phone app store and requires Windows Phone 8. By tapping a button in HERE Maps, users can enter LiveSight mode, which will scan the surrounding area and pull up relevant information about nearby locations, like addresses, phone numbers and ratings. Lumia owners familiar with Nokia’s City Lens app will recognize the virtual signs attached to buildings viewed through the camera display and the HERE Maps version of LiveSight appears to have similar functionality — including HERE’s strongest selling point, offline access
Indie developers have been able to take advantage of a free version of the Unity engine for desktop game development some time now, and starting today they can extend that development to mobile games at no added cost. The company’s confirmed that it’s dropping the $800 licensing fee for its Android and iOS build options, with Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 development also promised to be moving to a free option in the “coming months.” As Unity CEO David Helgason explained at the Unite Nordic conference earlier today, the company has been hoping to make the move “for what seems like forever,” with his ultimate goal being to push the “democratisation of game development further than ever before.” He further explains in a blog post that the new option comes with “no strings attached, no royalties and no license fees,” apart from the prior rules that require large companies to use the paid version of Unity. As for those who’ve recently paid up for the mobile engine only to find it now free, Helgason says they can expect to hear from him in the next two weeks with an offer of discounts on future purchases.
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Unity drops licensing fee on game engine for mobile developers
Leap Motion debuted in June 2012 with an impressively polished demo , but after its attention-getting debut, the company’s path to market has been a bit rockier. It’s had to woo partners on both the software and hardware side, while navigating an often unpredictable production process and at least one major delay. They’ve attracted big-name partners like Best Buy, Asus and Corel, but will it be enough to convince users to sign on for a new way of controlling their computers? Continue reading…
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Leap Motion’s quest to bring gesture control to the PC
Dr. Terrence Early, a psychiatrist in Santa Barbara, CA, is convinced he’s found the holy grail of care for severely depressed patients — those who’ve tried a litany of antidepressants, and even electroconvulsive therapy, to no avail. “These are the very sickest patients,” Early, who estimates that he’s treated 80 people over 500 sessions with the method, says. “And the results have been dumbfounding.” Continue reading…
In yet another sign of just how crowded the mobile payments market is becoming, Boost Mobile today launched its own mobile wallet app. Dubbed (predictably) Mobile Wallet, the new service allows customers of the Sprint -owned MVNO to make payments in over 135 countries and set up bill payments with more than 3,500 companies across the US. Of course, it also lets you re-up any of your Boost cellular accounts. Continue reading…
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Boost Mobile launches mobile wallet app, offers prepaid Visa card for in-store purchases