Previously, SugarSync offered users 5GB of free capacity. Users can still try the SugarSync service with a 90-day 5GB trial or a 30-day trial with higher capacities of 60GB or more.
SugarSync said the new policy will allow the company to further focus on “updates and improvements that better meet the evolving needs of its consumer and business subscribers.”
“There are many companies in this space that are giving away free storage However, most of these companies will not be viable. We are already in a solid financial position and this shift will further strengthen our business,” said SugarSync CEO Mike Grossman.
The change will let SugarSync better serve its “loyal” existing customers through new service enhancements.
SugarSync plans to release redesigned apps and additional features in the coming year.
The company will make existing and new 4K products the focus of its presentation at the event as it gears up for a major push of the technology in 2014, Phil Molyneux, president of Sony Electronics, told reporters in a recent briefing in San Francisco.
“We’re the only company in the world that allows you to shoot 4K content, edit it on our computers, play it back on our 4K TVs via HDMI,” he said. “We’ve built that eco-system out together with Vegas Pro so that people can come to Sony and have that unique experience.”
Sony is the only consumer electronics company to touch so many areas of the broadcast, movie and TV content chain. Through Sony Pictures it makes movies, its television arm produces several popular TV shows, it produces video hardware from professional through consumer for capturing content, and sells the televisions used to watch it.
But that doesn’t necessarily make Sony into a winner when it comes to 4K. In the portable audio market, it managed to cede the lead to Apple’s iPod despite having led the market for years with the Walkman, beaten Apple to market with a digital music player and had the backing of Sony Music.
Sony has spent the last few years trying to learn from those mistakes and says it’s in a much stronger position now.
What’s clear with 4K is that consumer demand is increasing, said Molyneux.
“When you see HD and you compare it with 4K, it’s a remarkable difference,” he said. “So you have to see it to really engage and believe it. If you look at the forecasted adoption rate of 4K over the last year, every three months the take-up rate on these reports have gone up and up and up.”
He attributed the rising consumer demand to falling prices of 4K televisions.
Last week an alleged slide leak purporting to show AMD’s desktop roadmap appeared and it was quickly picked up by most tech sites. Not us of course, since we knew it was rubbish and we’ve got a couple of inboxes littered with similar fakes.
The slide indicated that AMD was about to ditch big-core FX processors, something that has been rumoured for a couple of years. This is not the case. AMD will not pull the plug on FX products in 2015.
AMD Manager of APU/CPU Product Reviews James Prior told Gamers Nexus that the slide was fake and that FX parts aren’t going anywhere. The actual AMD roadmap doesn’t even cover 2015. Prior said it was “rare” to see roadmaps that go more than a year into the future.
That is odd, because we got three such roadmaps over the weekend. One of them is an AMD ARM consumer roadmap 2014-2016. Sounds legit. Perhaps we should publish it just to see how many clickbait loving news editors would fall for it?
Anyway you can submit your fake roadmaps any day of the week, including Sunday. We accept death threats only on weekdays, 9AM to 6PM. Nick Farrell’s astral initiation rituals are available every weekend. Bring your own chicken (BYOC).
GoToMeeting Essentials allows for one presenter and five attendees in a session and costs $19 per month, or $182 per year, for unlimited usage, Citrix plans to announce on Tuesday. Meetings can’t be recorded.
By contrast, the standard GoToMeeting product costs $49 per month, or $468 per year, for unlimited usage. Meetings can be recorded and can have 1 presenter and up to 25 participants.
Essentials is intended to attract customers that don’t need all the features and capacity of the standard version of the product, and that find its price too high.
On the other end of the spectrum, Citrix is adding an option for customers that need to accommodate more people in a meeting. The new GoToMeeting 100 allows for sessions of up to 100 participants with 1 presenter for $69 per month.
Beyond the core GoToMeeting, Citrix also has a version of the product customized for online events and another one designed for e-learning.
The version for events, GoToWebinar, accommodates meetings of up to 100, up to 500 and up to 1,000 people. It starts at $99 per month, or $948 per year, for the 100-participant option with one presenter.
Meanwhile, GoToTraining is for sessions of up to 25 participants or up to 200 participants, and starts at $149 per month, or $1,428 per year.
Prices go up on all GoToMeeting products if customers buy more than one presenter license. If customers need 40 or more presenter licenses, they need to open a GoToMeeting corporate account.
Citrix is also announcing that a GoToMeeting app for the Windows Phone OS will be launched on Dec. 15. It will allow people to launch and join a meeting from Windows Phone smartphones.
Meanwhile, the company is beta-testing a new element in GoToMeeting, called GoToMeet.me, which hosts a personalized meeting page. They can use this page to start up a session with colleagues in an ad-hoc manner without formal scheduling or invitations. Customers interested in it can try it out at GoToMeet.me
The company has also made it possible for GoToMeeting customers to try out pre-release features by selecting them from a new menu option called Labs.
Citrix also improved GoToMeeting’s Outlook plug-in and plans to introduce an integration with Google Calendar via a Chrome browser extension that will be released in about a month.
The growth of online video, both in fixed and mobile networks has made content delivery networks such as EdgeCast and the services they offer more interesting. Verizon’s Digital Media Services unit will integrate EdgeCast’s capabilities to further improve “ability to meet the exponential growth in online digital media content, as well as broaden its portfolio of site acceleration services for enterprises,” the operator said earlier this week.
With the acquisition, Verizon will get its hands on EdgeCast’s content delivery network, a global network of servers that can be used to handle traffic spikes, stream content to thousands of viewers concurrently, or secure websites from attacks, according to EdgeCast.
This isn’t the first time this year Verizon has opened its wallet to improve its video distribution capabilities. Last month, Verizon announced the acquisition of technology from upLynk that streamlines the process of uploading and encoding video for live, linear and video-on-demand content.
EdgeCast’s list of customers includes Pinterest, Kellogg’s, Mercedes, Yahoo and WordPress.
The financial details of the deal were not revealed, but Verizon’s and EdgeCast’s board of directors have approved the acquisition and Verizon hopes to finalize it early next year, it said. Once the deal is complete, Verizon will compete with the likes of Akamai Technologies.
Today, online video is the biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25% of total smartphone traffic and 40% of total tablet traffic, according to a recent report from telecom vendor Ericsson.
The rising number of smartphone subscriptions is the main driver for mobile-data traffic growth in the coming years. Users consuming more data per subscription — mainly driven by video — is adding to this. A compound annual growth rate of around 45% for data traffic is expected between 2013 and 2019 or by a factor of 10 during the whole period, Ericsson said.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter spoke at the Game Monetization USA Summit in San Francisco, and once again made some bold predictions about the future of the game industry. He pulled no punches as he evaluated the current state of affairs in the business, and he had some hard advice for a number of companies.
Pachter noted that more people are playing games on more devices than ever before, but he doesn’t think the console market will be growing. “I don’t think you’re ever going to see 500 million consoles out there,” Pachter said. For lifetime sales, Pachter expects the Wii U will ultimately sell 30 million “or fewer” units, the PS4 will sell 100 to 120 million units, and the Xbox One will sell 90 to 110 million units.
“The reason Sony beats Microsoft is solely the price,” Pachter noted. “Microsoft loses the next generation unless they cut price. If Microsoft drops its price to $399, I expect the sales to be equal to the PS4.”
The lifetime sales Pachter predicts compare to current sales of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 at about 80 million units apiece, but it’s far below some estimates of hundreds of millions of next-gen consoles. “I don’t know where they get those numbers,” Pachter said. He feels that at several hundred dollars, with games costing $60 or more, consoles are just too pricey to ever sell hundreds of millions of units.
The Wii U’s performance so far Pachter characterized as “underwhelming,” but noted it’s possible “but unlikely” that exciting new titles will reinvigorate growth. He believes that Nintendo is missing a huge opportunity to bring new gamers into their brands: Nintendo should put old GameBoy Advance content on phones and tablets for free, and charge $3 to $5 for more recent titles from the DS. Pachter feels this would generate enormous revenue for Nintendo and bring millions of new fans into their brands, and give them a strong way to sell newer titles on the 3DS and Wii U that use those brands.
“I don’t know why Iwata is still employed,” Pachter said, given that he refuses to take advantage of this opportunity while the handheld market continues to shrink and the Wii U has failed so far to catch on in a big way.
Pachter is more positive on the PlayStation 4 – “Sony thrives, Nintendo doesn’t” – saying it’s impressive as a game playing device. “The graphics are phenomenal, and the huge RAM makes future innovation likely,” Pachter pointed out. He noted that the multimedia features remain unclear, but the CPU power of the PS4 allows the potential for huge improvement in the future. As for the Xbox One, Pachter noted it’s impressive as a multimedia device, and the added features of Kinect and Skype give it additional value. “We’re sticking with our prediction of a built-in TV tuner” for the Xbox One, Pachter said, which would simplify the ability of the Xbox One to control your television viewing.
“The next generation of consoles is probably the last,” Pachter said. “We expect frequent model updates instead of new consoles.” Moreover, there’s going to be renewed interest in the PC, he predicted. “I think the PC is going to make a comeback, the PC will be the hub of all this stuff,” he stated. He feels Smart TVs are a dumb idea, noting that you don’t have a smart monitor connected to your computer. He envisions there will be a number of screens around the home, perhaps controlled by a tablet, being driven by a supercomputer in your pocket that we call a smartphone.
Spotify has had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for an email that contained an uncensored “f” word.
The promotional email had the subject line, “Have you heard this song by Lily Allen? Give it a try. F-ck You”.
Contextually, the phrase refers to the song “Fuck You” on Lily Allen’s album “It’s Not Me, It’s You”, and the suggestion was genuine, generated automatically based on the listener’s previous selections.
Unfortunately, this particular Spotify customer chose to take it the wrong way and made a complaint to the ASA, which announced it would uphold the complaint on Wednesday.
Defending against the claim, Spotify said it “believed there was a clear difference between deliberate language use such as that and the context in which it was used in the ad” and that “…around 36 million recommendations were sent to users by e-mail every month and therefore over the years a significant proportion of its users would have had the same song recommended to them”.
However, the ASA had not received any other complaints, Spotify said. Upholding the complaint, the ASA ruled that it “considered the use of ‘Fuck’ was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients of such e-mails and therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code”.
Although no action is taken in isolated instances like this, the ASA chose to uphold the complaint “to ensure [Spotify's] future advertising contained nothing that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence”.
But what songs had this customer been listening to that would trigger this recommendation? Perhaps he or she is a fan of Cee Lo Green or the Dead Kennedys?
Spotify has responded to criticism of the royalty amounts it pays to music artists.
Music industry figures including Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke have long called for fellow artists to boycott the Swedish music streaming service, which Yorke described as “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”.
In launching the new Spotify For Artists website, Spotify has been proud to boast that it has paid out more than $1bn, over half of which it has paid in the past year. However, digging deeper the truth emerges that this equates to between $0.006 and $0.008 per play.
That’s fine if you’re Lady Gaga or Beyonce, but for musicians at the grassroots level this represents a massive hole in their finances. Or to put it in perspective, it would require a five piece band to be played 5,477 times just to be able to buy themselves a round of drinks. For a new, untested and undiscovered artist, that simply isn’t enough to get by.
A play on Great Britain’s BBC alternative radio station 6 Music nets an artist approximately five cents. Not a king’s ransom, but a huge amount compared to Spotify’s rates. In contrast, Bandcamp, the service designed to allow artists to self release their music, lets artists set their own prices for music, or even leaves it up to consumers to pay what they believe the work is worth.
This is the way that the internet is supposed to empower artists. The internet has made it possible for anyone to be a star, or at least make a living from their music, if they are good enough.
But accepting the payment of these tiny amounts of money is actually far worse for the industry than so-called ‘piracy’, because copyright infringement will always be considered wrong, while streaming for fractions of pennies normalises the practice of underpaying for creative talent and creates the kinds of gatekeepers that have made the giant music industry companies such a cartel. A cartel that is starting to implode.
Companies from Panasonic Corp to Toshiba Corp are pulling engineers and money away from their TV operations and into developing ‘smart appliances’ after losing out in the living room to cheaper Asian rivals.
A fridge that texts pictures to show what’s for dinner, a voice-controlled washing machine -appliances like these are being designed to talk to each other via the cloud to cut energy bills.
For now, they’re expensive, deterring buyers: a Japan-only Toshiba smart fridge with camera runs to about $2,800 versus less than $800 for a basic model. Yet as more products come on the market and competition cuts prices, global smart appliance sales will rocket to $35 billion by 2020 from just over $600 million last year, according to technology intelligence firm Pike Research.
As the industry prepares to descend on Las Vegas next month for CES, the world’s biggest tech trade fair, that’s mouth-watering for all electronics makers. But none more than Japan’s.
They’ve been squeezed into billions of dollars of losses in recent years, caught between high manufacturing costs, aggressive competition from the likes of Samsung Electronics Co and the strong yen, making exports of consumer staples like TVs more expensive.
To prosper in the new niche, Japanese companies must not only convince consumers to shell out for a whole new set of appliances, which need to be all from the same brand to guarantee compatibility. Further down the line, they’ll also have to hold their own against the same cheaper Asian rivals that stole their thunder in leisure electronics.
“Everyone says having the same brand of goods would be more energy-efficient, but in the end it comes down to the price and function of each product,” said Satomi Wakamatsu, a 41-year old housewife from Hiroshima. She owns a Hitachi Ltd fridge and washing machine, and an air conditioner made by Daikin Industries Ltd.
Wakamatsu considered buying smart appliances. But she balked when she added up the cost of all-new appliances, in addition to the home energy management system (HEMS) needed to connect them to each other to monitor and cut energy usage – a further $2,000-$3,000.
Sales of Japanese companies’ HEMS were helped over the last year by hefty government subsidies designed to stimulate energy efficiency – but they ended in October. Panasonic sold 20,000 HEMS units between April and September, double its full-year target, but said it’s unsure if that pace can be sustained without the subsidy.
Toshiba, meanwhile, wants 20 percent of its appliance sales to be from ‘smart’ goods by the end of fiscal 2014.
The tablets run Android 4.2, code-named Jellybean, and are listed at the company’stablet page. The list includes the $199.99 Slate 7 Extreme with a 7-inch screen, the $329.99 Slate 8 Pro with an 8-inch screen, and the $299.99 Slate 10 HD with a 10.1-inch screen.
The Slate 8 Pro offers 11.5 hours of battery and has the hardware to provide 4K video and gaming. The tablet has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which has a graphics processor capable of handling 4K video. The screen can display images at a 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution. An HDMI port allows the tablet to be connected to TVs for 4K video. Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 720p front camera, 16GB of internal storage and a 1GB of RAM.
The Slate 10 HD offers 10 hours of battery and is meant for Web surfing and basic multimedia use. The screen displays images at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It has a dual-core Marvell PXA986 ARM-based chip, 16GB of storage, a high-definition front camera and a five-megapixel back camera. Other specifications include 1GB of DRAM and a micro-SD slot.
The Slate 7 Extreme is listed at the site, but is out of stock. The tablet offers 10.5 hours of battery life, and as the product name suggests, it is meant for entertainment and high-definition video. It has a Tegra 4 chip, making it capable of processing 4K video. Other features include a 1280 x 800-pixel screen, 16GB of storage, an HDMI slot, a five-megapixel rear camera and 0.3-megapixel front camera.
The entry-level $149.99 Slate 7 Plus tablet, which is an upgrade from an earlier Slate 7 that was discontinued earlier this year, is also available. The Slate 7 Plus has 8GB of storage and an older Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Other features include a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel front camera. The tablet offers six to seven hours of battery life.
All of the tablets have Wi-Fi and micro SD slots.
In the second half of 2013 Intel was forced to deal with at least six different desktop processor groups. On the top of the food chain Intel has Ivy Bridge E, Sandy Bridge E followed by, Haswell LGA 1150 and Ivy Bridge 1150 processors. The end carries the remains of Sandy Bridge processors, Celeron BGA and Bay Trail Atom processors.
As you can imagine Ivy Bridge E, Sandy Bridge E both based on LGA 2011 socket occupy some two percent of total Intel socket market while Haswell LGA 1150 reaches almost 30 percent of total shipments by socket in 2H 2013.
The most dominant products were naturally Ivy Bridge LGA 1155 parts that accounted for more than sixty percent of total shipments. Sandy Bridge 32nm processors in Socket 1155 are taking three percent of total shipments in 2H 2013 while Celeron BGA / Bay Trail D and old Atom based on Clower Trail 32nm should occupy some 5 percent.
In 1H 2014 Ivy Bridge E will eat the Sandy Bridge E market taking most of the pie for itself. Haswell and Haswell refresh, both LGA 1150 parts, should occupy close to 55 percent of the market while Ivy Bridge is doomed to shrink to 40 percent. Sandy Bridge LGA 1155 will be in some one to two percent of socketed processors that will ship in 1H 2014, while Celeron BGA and Bay Trail D (same thing under different brand) will grow into the Cedar View D market and conquer the rest of the low-end.
Both Haswell refresh and Bay Trail D should continue growing in 2H 2014 according to Intel’s desktop transition guide.
The US and UK are stragglers when it comes to consumer broadband download speeds and appear far down in table rankings.
This puts the countries, swaggering authoritarian surveillance monsters that they are, rather low down on the satisfaction scale.
The ranking produced by Ookla is based on results from Speedtest servers, and is called the Net Index.
“Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, this index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe,” is the explanation.
“The value is the rolling mean throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles.”
Hong Kong takes pole position and it is credited as having download speeds in the area of 71.03 Mbps. There is a big drop of around 20 Mbps down to Singapore in second place with 52.85 Mbps and third is Romania, where speeds are 50.82 Mbps.
You have to look a long way down the list before arriving at the UK, which is in 25th place. Here, or there depending on where you live, consumers get a rather meagre sounding 23.55 Mbps.
The United States weighs in at 31st place and has download speeds of 20.77 Mbps. This puts it below the UK, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Greece and 25 others.
Closer to home the European Commission has published its report on Broadband Coverage in Europe (2012) and reveals progress on broadband coverage targets. It found that while broadband has improved, it could be faster.
A recent upgrade to its developer tools has reduced the amount of work required to get an Android app working on the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and changes coming in early 2014 will allow some Android apps to run directly without any changes.
BlackBerry 10 is based on a real-time operating system called QNX but has had a level of compatibility with Android since it was launched earlier this year. A “runtime” on the phones provides an environment in which Android apps can run, but not all Android features are supported.
The latest version, 10.2.1, was introduced in early November and added support for Android Jellybean 4.2.2, Bluetooth, maps through Open Street Map, sharing of content with other applications in the phone, and the spell checker.
As long as the Android features that a given app needs are supported in BlackBerry’s Android runtime, the app needs minimal repackaging to run on BlackBerry smartphones.
It’s about to get even easier.
Early next year, BlackBerry will push a software update to users that will bring the ability to directly run “.apk” Android packages on phones, with no repackaging, as long as features required by the apps are supported. That should make it easier for companies to offer Android applications to BlackBerry users.
On Dec. 4, the company will run a series of webcasts specifically aimed at Android developers. The “BlackBerry Jam Direct Android Virtual Conference” will include speeches from BlackBerry engineers and third-party software developers.
“This event is designed to help you understand how theA BlackBerry Runtime for Android A apps 10.2.1 release supports your development efforts and helps you get your apps in front of BlackBerry users faster,” the company says on a website.
BlackBerry has attracted 130,000 apps to its BlackBerry 10 platform, but the company’s new phones haven’t managed to grab the attention of many users.
BlackBerry had a 2.8% share of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2013, according to data from IDC. That puts it behind Windows Mobile at 3.1%, Apple’s iOS at 16.6% and Android at 69.2%.
Even if it means that it will be the first to make ARM’s 64-bit chips, Intel said that it wants to expand its contract foundry work. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said he would expand his company’s small contract manufacturing business, paving the way for more chipmakers to tap into the world’s most advanced process technology.
Krzanich told analysts that he planned to step up the company’s foundry work, effectively giving Intel’s process technology to its rivals. He said that company’s who can use Intel’s leading edge and build computing capabilities that are better than anyone else’s, are good candidates for foundry service. Krzanich added that the slumping personal computer industry, Intel’s core market, was showing signs of bottoming out.
Intel also unveiled two upcoming mobile chips from its Atom line designed interchange features to create different versions of the component. A high-end version of the new chip, code named Broxton, and is due out in mid-2015. SoFIA, a low-end chip was shown as an example of Intel’s pragmatism and willingness to change how it does business. Krzanich said that in the interest of speed, SoFIA would be manufactured outside of Intel, with the goal of bringing it to market next year.
Intel will move production of SoFIA chips to its own 14 nanometer manufacturing lines, Krzanich added.
Twitter Inc said it has put in place a security technology that makes it harder to spy on its users and called on other Internet firms to do the same, as Web providers look to thwart spying by government intelligence agencies.
The online messaging service, which began scrambling communications in 2011 using traditional HTTPS encryption, said on Friday it has added an advanced layer of protection for HTTPS known as “forward secrecy.”
“A year and a half ago, Twitter was first served completely over HTTPS,” the company said in a blog posting. “Since then, it has become clearer and clearer how important that step was to protecting our users’ privacy.”
Twitter’s move is the latest response from U.S. Internet firms following disclosures by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden about widespread, classified U.S. government surveillance programs.
Facebook Inc, Google Inc, Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc have publicly complained that the government does not let them disclose data collection efforts. Some have adopted new privacy technologies to better secure user data.
Forward secrecy prevents attackers from exploiting one potential weakness in HTTPS, which is that large quantities of data can be unscrambled if spies are able to steal a single private “key” that is then used to encrypt all the data, said Dan Kaminsky, a well-known Internet security expert.
The more advanced technique repeatedly creates individual keys as new communications sessions are opened, making it impossible to use a master key to decrypt them, Kaminsky said.
“It is a good thing to do,” he said. “I’m glad this is the direction the industry is taking.”