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Google’s Loon Close To Launching

April 21, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Google’s Loon Close To Launching

Google says its Project Loon is nearing the capability to produce and launch thousands of balloons to provide Internet access from the sky. Such a number would be required to provide reliable Internet access to users in remote areas that are currently unserved by terrestrial networks, said Mike Cassidy, the Google engineer in charge of the project, in a video post. The ambitious project has been under way for a couple of years and involves beaming down LTE cellular signals to handsets on the ground... 

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Mozilla’s Firefox Coming To iPhone

April 21, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Mozilla’s Firefox Coming To iPhone

Mozilla will offer Firefox for Apple’s iPhone “soon,” according to a company announcement of an open marketing position. As the senior mobile marketing manager, the candidate will “lead marketing for Firefox on both Android and iOS,” the listing stated, adding that “a new Firefox for iOS application [will be] arriving soon.” Mozilla, which had previously staunchly declined to create a version of its iconic browser for iOS, changed its tune last December,... 

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Russian Hackers Going After Adobe And Windows

April 21, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Russian Hackers Going After Adobe And Windows

Russian hackers have been taking advantage of vulnerabilities in popular Adobe and Microsoft software to gather government information, US security firm FireEye has claimed. The company’s latest report said that it detected a limited advanced persistent threat campaign targeting zero-day vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Windows which started on 13 April. FireEye said that the group’s goal is to find information about government, military and security organizations which is... 

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ARM Buys Into Bluetooth For IoT

April 21, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Computing
ARM Buys Into Bluetooth For IoT

ARM has announced the acquisition of two Bluetooth companies in a bid to expand its presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) arena, and has created a new portfolio dubbed ARM Cordio in the process. The UK semiconductor designer has picked up Wicentric, a Bluetooth smart stack and profile provider, and Sunrise Micro Devices (SMD), a provider of sub-one volt Bluetooth radio intellectual property (IP). Wicentric is a privately held company that focuses on the development of low-power wireless products.... 

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Sony Unveils New Xperia Smartphone

April 21, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Sony Unveils New Xperia Smartphone

Sony Corp on Monday announced a new high-end Xperia smartphone featuring an aluminium frame and a 5.2-inch screen, showing it is still in the phone race even as it scales down its struggling mobile operations. The launch of the new flagship model comes amid a painful restructuring at the Japanese consumer electronics giant which has thrown the future of its smartphone division into doubt, with top executives saying an exit cannot be ruled out. But as the company focuses on cutting costs rather than... 

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Radio Telescope Peels Into Supermassive Black Hole

April 21, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Radio Telescope Peels Into Supermassive Black Hole

Supermassive black holes loom in the centers of the majority of massive galaxies. Some of these black holes, like the one in the Milky Way’s center, lie dormant. Others (so-called quasars) actively chow down on gas, causing them to radiate like brilliant beacons of light. They can therefore be seen from across the universe. Although these monsters clearly accrete huge amounts of matter, some material escapes. It’s flung out into space at close to the speed of light in a jet of plasma.... 

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Insurance Companies Want Access To Your Fitbit Data

April 20, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Insurance Companies Want Access To Your Fitbit Data

Could a 15 minute work out save you 15% on your life insurance? If you sign up with John Hancock, it could. The company has become the first to offer ratepayers a discount when they use Fitbit wristbands that enable exercise tracking. For years now, consumers have been able to plug a dongle into their car’s onboard diagnostics port and send driving data to Progressive, State Farm, or other auto insurance firms who offer reduced rates for good driving. Now, John Hancock policyholders who wear... 

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Apple Pay Headed To Canada

April 20, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Apple Pay Headed To Canada

Apple Inc is gearing up to launch its electronic payments service in Canada in November, the first international expansion of Apple Pay, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The iPhone maker is in talks with Canada’s six biggest banks, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank , Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada, the people told the Journal. The banks are open to an agreement, but are... 

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Qualcomm Gives Snapdragon More Umph

April 20, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Qualcomm Gives Snapdragon More Umph

Qualcomm has released a new Trepn Profiler app for Android which will profile Snapdragon processors and tinker with them. The Trepn Profiler app identifies apps that overwork the CPU or are eating too much data. The app will pinpoint which of the apps drain the battery faster. All data that will be obtained by this app can provide information you need to know which program is slowing down your phone. Most Android phone users will not give a damn, but developers will find it useful. Those who are... 

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AMD To Power Samsung’s Digital Media

April 20, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Computing
AMD To Power Samsung’s Digital Media

AMD’s Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit, previously codenamed “Bald Eagle,” is powering Samsung’s latest set-back-box digital media players. AMD’s Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit, previously codenamed “Bald Eagle,” is powering Samsung’s latest set-back-box digital media players. Bald Eagle was designed for high performance at low power with broad connectivity but mostly for digital signage. It seems that new Samsung SBB-B64DV4... 

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Is EA Shuttering It’s Free To Play Model?

April 20, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Gaming
Is EA Shuttering It’s Free To Play Model?

EA is shuttering four high-profile free-to-play games, all of them allied to popular IP like Battlefield and FIFA. Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World and FIFA World will all continue for another 90 days, at which point they will be taken offline for good. Further development on the games has stopped already. “In more than five years since most of these titles launched, how we play games has changed dramatically,” said Patrick Soderlund, EVP of EA Games, in... 

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Microsoft Unveils Office Touch Apps For Windows Phones

April 20, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Microsoft Unveils Office Touch Apps For Windows Phones

Microsoft Corp has finally rolled out a long-awaited suite of touch-friendly Office apps that allow Windows phone users to work on Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents on their phones with touch commands and to transfer them easily between devices. Test versions of what Microsoft is calling its Office Universal apps are available to download immediately and full versions will be available by the end of the month, Microsoft said. Many Office users have waited months for Microsoft to introduce... 

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IKEA Launches Wireless Charging Furniture Collection

April 17, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
IKEA Launches Wireless Charging Furniture Collection

IKEA has rolled out its Wireless Charging collection of furniture, which has built-in Qi-enabled wireless chargers for compatible mobile phones. In addition to offering bedside tables, floor- and table lamps, desks and simple charging pads, IKEA is also selling a DIY kit that lets users embed wireless chargers into furniture of their choice. The furniture, and other items in IKEA’s wireless charging collection, ranges in price from $9.99 to $119. The Wireless Charging collection will be rolled... 

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Twitter Re-designs Home Page, Hopes To Attract New Users

April 17, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Re-designs Home Page, Hopes To Attract New Users

Twitter, hoping to attract new users, is turning its home page into a portal for news and content around dozens of topics. Twitter.com has been redesigned to make content posted to the site more accessible to people who do not have accounts with the service. Those people can visit the site, and as of Wednesday they will find 18 tabs leading to streams of content on various topics, whether it be country singers, general news, or travel guides. There’s also dozens of other curated streams of... 

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Huawei Unveils P8 And P8 Max Smartphones

April 17, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Huawei Unveils P8 And P8 Max Smartphones

China’s Huawei unveiled its flagship P8 and P8 Max mobile phones, devices that stack up against the latest models from Samsung and Apple in technical specifications if not marketing budget. The P8, which runs Google’s Android operating system, has a 5.2 inch display screen — slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S6, unveiled last month, and the iPhone 6 — and an eight-core 64-bit processor. Made from a single piece of metal, the phone is thinner than its rivals, with a width... 

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