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Apple Offering Free Beats Headphones For Back-to-school Promo

July 27, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Offering Free Beats Headphones For Back-to-school Promo

Apple launched its annual back-to-school promotion in the U.S., switching the deal to a free pair of Beats headphones for customers who buy eligible Macs. The promotion launched later this year than in the past: In 2014, for example, Apple started its back-to-school campaign July 1. Buyers who purchase a qualifying Mac between now and Sept. 18 receive a $199.95 credit toward a a pair of Beats Solo2 On-Ear Headphones, which list for that amount. Alternately, the credit can be applied to a pair of Beats... 

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HP Goes After Security In Smartwatches

July 24, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
HP Goes After Security In Smartwatches

HP has released a study suggesting that anyone who uses a smartwatch is offering their wrist to vagabonds, criminals and privacy probers. Blam! HP ain’t messing. “You got a smartwatch?” it says. “Then damn, son, you are in trouble!”* A report apparently straight outta HP finds that the smartwatch lets us all down by not doing encryption right, not considering privacy and using second rate authentication. In the current threat market, this would be a pretty much a full... 

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Google + Photos To End On August 1st

July 22, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google + Photos To End On August 1st

Bad news for Google+ Photos, the photo-sharing service that’s part of the company’s social network. Google will begin closing down the service on Aug. 1 on Android, with the Web and iOS devices to follow soon after. For a time, Google touted the service as a key element in Google+, with a range of editing tools and image enhancement technologies rolled out over the years. But Google hinted that its days might be numbered when the company rolled out its new Google Photos service at... 

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Facebook’s Oculus Acquires Gesture Recognition Firm Pebble

July 17, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Facebook’s Oculus Acquires Gesture Recognition Firm Pebble

Facebook’s Oculus unit announcd that it has agreed to acquire Israeli gesture recognition technology developer Pebbles Interfaces for an undisclosed amount. The announcement was made in a blog posted by Oculus. Israel’s Calcalist financial news website said the deal was worth tens of millions of dollars. While other companies pioneering the virtual reality field focus on full-body movement, Pebbles’ technology detects and tracks hand movement. It is aimed primarily at gamers but... 

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SanDisk Debuts New Wireless Streaming Thumb Drive

July 16, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
SanDisk Debuts New Wireless Streaming Thumb Drive

SanDisk has released the newest addition to its wireless storage line – the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick. The Connect Wireless Stick ranges in capacity from 16GB to 128GB and in price from $30 to $100. SanDisk’s first Wireless Stick, the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, was released two years ago and it came in 16GB and 32GB capacities and was priced at $49.99 and $59.99, respectively. As its predecessor did, the new wireless thumb drive also uses a USB 2.0 (480Mbps) connection to upload... 

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Will Wearable Devices Ever Take Off?

July 16, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Will Wearable Devices Ever Take Off?

While Intel and Apple are touting the Internet of Things as the next big thing, it is starting to look like the numbers will be too small to attract the necessary economies of scale. Normally what happens when there is “new thing” in the tech market enough people buy a product to stimulate the supply chain. This encourages suppliers to mass produce and push costs lower. This maintains the momentum as a waves of others buy because the price drops on components. But word on the street... 

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Car Companies Limiting Data They Share With Technology Partners

July 14, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Car Companies Limiting Data They Share With Technology Partners

Automobile manufacturers are limiting the data they share with technology partners Apple Inc and Google Inc through new systems that link smartphones to vehicle infotainment systems, defending access to information about what drivers do in their cars. Auto companies hope that the vehicle data will one day generate billions of dollars in e-commerce, though they are just beginning to form strategies for monetizing the information. Apple and Google already make money from smartphone owners by providing... 

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Google Glass Poised For A Comeback

July 10, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google Glass Poised For A Comeback

Google Glass appears to be gearing up for a resurrection, and is heading straight for the workplace with a bigger, faster design. That’s the consensus from recent filings made to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and a news report Wednesday citing sources familiar with the project. The newly reborn device — dubbed GG1 in the FCC documents — will use 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth LE, according to a report last week from Droid Life. It sounds like the “Enterprise... 

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GM Announces Way For Parents To Track Teen Drivers

July 7, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
GM Announces Way For Parents To Track Teen Drivers

GM has announced that it will be offering a way for parents to track their teens’ driving behavior in order to reduce accidents. In the U.S., the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19-year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Teen Driver,” as GM is calling it, will debut in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. The new system can be set to track the distance driven, the maximum speed traveled,... 

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Can Fiber Broadband Access Boost Homes Value?

July 2, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Can Fiber Broadband Access Boost Homes Value?

The availability of really fast broadband in your neighborhood could boost homes value by more than 3 percent. High-speed fiber broadband service, with 1 Gbps download speeds, can add more than $5,400 to the value of an average U.S. home, according to a study commissioned by the Fiber to the Home Council Americas (FTTH), an advocacy group made up of fiber equipment vendors and broadband providers. That $5,400 figure is approximately equal to adding a new fireplace, half of a new bathroom or a quarter... 

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Google Launches Free Streaming Music Service

June 25, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google Launches Free Streaming Music Service

Google Inc has unveiled a free version of its music streaming service, as it sought to upstage the debut of Apple Inc’s rival service next week. Google Play Music has offered a $9.99 per month subscription service for two years but Tuesday’s launch is the first free version of the streaming service. It is available online and will be available on Android and iOS by the end of the week, Elias Roman, Google product manager, said. Apple said earlier this month it would launch a music... 

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Google Seeking Testers For Jump Virtual Reality Video Camera

June 24, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Google Seeking Testers For Jump Virtual Reality Video Camera

If you’re an aspiring virtual reality content producer, Google is looking to give you a chance to test the Jump camera system it developed for recording video to be used in VR environments. Individuals that are interested in trying their hand at capturing 360-degree video with Jump can fill out a form Google posted on Monday that asks basic biographical questions as well as details on how they would use the system. Google didn’t say how many “select creators” it would chose,... 

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SoftBank’s Personal Robot With Emotions Already Sold Out

June 24, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
SoftBank’s Personal Robot With Emotions Already Sold Out

Any lingering doubt about whether people were excited to get their own personal robot has been removed. SoftBank Robotics Corp., an international company based in Japan, put 1,000 personal robots, priced at $1,600, on sale last Saturday. Within one minute, they were sold out. Customers also must pay a $120 per month cloud connection fee and and monthly insurance of $80. It was the first time that SoftBank had allowed people to put in orders for the robot, dubbed Pepper. There has been high interest... 

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Apple Watch Expected To Dominate Smartwatch Market

June 23, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Watch Expected To Dominate Smartwatch Market

The Apple Watch is expected to capture nearly two-thirds of the smartwatch market for all of 2015, according to a new forecast from market research firm IDC. IDC had said two weeks ago that Apple will ship to retailers about 21 million Apple Watches in 2015. That’s in the mid-range of other analyst forecasts of 15 million to 30 million for the new device. Then last week IDC said that all smartwatches and a small number of other smart wearables will total 33.1 million shipments in 2015, putting... 

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Apple Discontinues Sales Of Original iPad Mini

June 22, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Discontinues Sales Of Original iPad Mini

Apple has quietly discontinued offering the original iPad Mini, the 7.9-in. tablet that debuted in 2012. The smaller sibling to the 9.7-in. iPad no longer appears on Apple’s online store, a fact first reported by 9to5Mac.com on Friday. The iPad Mini had been superseded by a pair of follow-ups, including the iPad Mini 2 in 2013 and the iPad Mini 3 last year. Both of those tablets, while sporting the same-sized screen as the original, boasted so-called “Retina” high-resolution displays. Apple... 

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