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Kik Messenger hits 100 million users, adds over 200k new per day

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 3:40 pm

WhatsApp finally has some substantial competition for its bid as the biggest text messaging service in existence. Today Kik messenger announced that it has surpassed the 100 million user milestone and has been adding new subscribers at a rate of 200,000 per day.

 

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"For us, growth gets a really big bump over Thanksgiving, which is a combination of new devices and people being in a new social sphere and sharing their passion for Kik," he explained, pointing to factors that have helped them reach this milestone. "It's hard to know what exactly is prompting growth. I wouldn't say there's anyone coming to Kik just for Cards and not for the messaging platform, but what it does do is provide a way for people to look at it and say 'Look at all the fun things I can do with Kik that I can't do with any other messaging apps."

Google adds Chrome Desktop Apps to Apple Mac devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 3:20 pm

Earlier this year, Google unveiled Chrome Apps for the PC desktop environment, and today the company has finally released a version for Apple's Mac devices. The apps are different from Chrome OS apps and Chrome browser apps, and feel more like native apps to the device and can even be accessed offline.

 

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The apps are designed to resemble their web-counterparts and function exactly the same, the difference is that they have access to local storage naively and do not need an interlink such as the internet. They will however fully sync up to your Google account to ensure that all changes made are present across all Google services. Users must run the Chrome browser on their Mac for the new desktop apps to appear though.

OCZ unveils its fastest and largest enterprise SATA III SSD to date

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Storage | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 3:00 pm

Today OCZ announced the launch of its next-generation Intrepid 3000 Series Enterprise Class Solid State Drives. OCZ says that the new line of SSD's provide the industry's best sustained performance and consistent I/O responses available. Supporting storage capacities up to 800GB, Intrepid 3 represents OCZ's highest performing and largest capacity enterprise SATA SSDs to date.

 

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The new line of SSD's feature the Everest 2 Platform, a mash-up of Marvell's 88SS9187 controller, and OCZ's proprietary firmware, the Intrepid 3000 series is capable of sequential read speeds of 520MB/s and sequential write speeds of 470MB/s. Input/Output operations per second equate to 91,000 for random reads of 4K blocks, and 40,000 IOPS for random writes of 4K blocks.

 

"Our new Intrepid 3000 Series leverages in-house firmware with an impressive enterprise feature-set to enable customers with unprecedented performance, data management, endurance and reliability, and cost flexibility resulting in an optimal storage environment," said Daryl Lang, SVP of Product Management for OCZ Technology. "Delivering exceptional SSD responsiveness in even the most demanding and compute-intensive applications, the Intrepid 3000 Series achieves unsurpassed performance under any workload, regardless of data type and I/O pattern for the complete spectrum of applications including online archiving, media streaming and web browsing OLTP, VDI, email and analytics."

Continue reading 'OCZ unveils its fastest and largest enterprise SATA III SSD to date' (full post)

Ex-Google exec becomes new deputy director of USPTO

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 12:11 pm

Michelle Lee, was an executive with Google, but is now the new Deputy Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Lee was previously in charge of patents and patent strategy at the search giant, so this new job isn't too far from her previous position.

 

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Lee will be in the position at the USPTO in an interim position, with the former director of the USPTO, David Kappos, stepping down in February to pursue interests in the private sector, with Teresa Stanek Rea as the acting director since. Lee will now be the Deputy Director until the USPTO finds a permanent replacement, but there's no word on when this might happen.

Cover for Android, an interesting new take on your lock screen

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 11:41 am

Google didn't do too much to change the lock screen with Android 4.4 KitKat, but thanks to the openness of Android, developers across the world can just make their own apps, such as Cover for Android. The video below shows it off perfectly.

 

 

Cover for Android, which is still in beta at the moment, is a feature-rich lock screen application. You can tell it your home and work addresses, and when at a particular place, it will come up with specific apps. At work, you might use a select few apps, which Cover handles without a problem. At home, you might use other apps - such as Gmail, Facebook and Chrome - so it will have shortcuts ready for you.

 

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Cover for Android currently works on Android 4.1 and above, and for users in the US, Canada and Europe - although, I'm based in Australia and I've just installed it without a problem. You can grab Cover for Android (beta) from the Google Play Store.oidcentral%26utm_medium%3Dblog%26utm_campaign%3Dbloglink

Continue reading 'Cover for Android, an interesting new take on your lock screen' (full post)

Razer releases Comms for Android, game chatting now leaves your desk

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 11:18 am

Razer has released its Comms for Android app, which is a free app for gamers. You can use Razer's Comms for Android to keep in touch with your gaming friends, which supports both voice and text chat on-the-go.

 

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Private messages also make an appearance, which is yet another nice addition to the app. Comms for Android will also let you respond to SMS at your desk, as well as turn down calls through its Windows version, too. You can grab Razer Comms for Android from the Google Play Store, but if you're on an iOS device, you'll have to wait until early 2014 to get your mitts on Razer's mobile app.

Soma, from the developers of Amnesia, sees a new trailer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 10:42 am

Amnesia was considered one of the scariest games of all time, so the anticipation for Frictional Games' next title, Soma, is sky high. Most people haven't heard about it, but there's a new trailer out for the game, below.

 

 

Nothing really happens in the trailer, but it shows the world that Soma is set in: the PATHOS-2 research facility. It looks like a blend of Aliens, Dead Space and Amnesia, which sounds great to me. But, unfortunately, Soma isn't coming until 2015 - but it will be hitting the PS4, Windows PC, Mac and Linux when it does.

Continue reading 'Soma, from the developers of Amnesia, sees a new trailer' (full post)

NPD: PS4 'top-selling' console, while Xbox One is 'fastest-selling'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Dec 13, 2013 10:05 am

According to NPD's latest numbers, it looks like total video game sales in the United States for the month of November were up 7% year-over-year, totaling $2.7 billion, up from $2.5 billion last year.

 

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Hardware sales spiked, due to the new consoles, by 58% to $1.3 billion. Sony took to its PlayStation blog: "PS4 was the top-selling console for November and PlayStation was No. 1 in sales overall for home consoles." Microsoft didn't let Sony have all the credit, so it chimed in with: "November NPD Group figures released today revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the US in the console's first nine days, making it the fastest-selling console on the market in the US. Xbox One sales averaged a volume of more than 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor."

Android 4.4.2 has began rolling out to Google Nexus devices

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 5:35 pm

With just over one month since the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, Google is wasting no time on pushing out updates. Today the company began to officially push out Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 updates to its Nexus Devices. Google says that depending on which device you own, you may receive 4.4.1 or 4.4.2.

 

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My 2012 version of the Nexus 7 received the 4.4.2 update this morning, as it had already received the 4.4.1 earlier in the week. 4.4.1 is the major update that fixes many of the biggest issues experienced by users, while 4.4.2 fixes other issues that have arisen since the 4.4.1 update was conceived. The ability to mirror your Android device's screen to a Chromecast has also been added, but the functionality has been disabled until Google finalizes work on the API. It is said to be coming soon and Google will unlock it at that time.

Instagram unveils new Instagram Direct for private photo sharing

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 4:19 pm

This morning, Instagram unveiled a newly added feature to its service that will allow users to directly share images and videos with specific friends via Facebook messaging and text messaging. Dubbed Instagram Direct, the new feature allows users to share images with friends directly in real-time and see likes, and comments instantly.

 

 

Instagram Direct has a few safety measures in place as well, with the most prevalent being a notification when someone you are not following sends you an image or video. The app will let you chose if you want to see this image or video, and if you decide not to, then you simply decline and the invitation goes away.

 

"As we've grown, Instagram has evolved not only into a community of photographers, but also into a means of visual communication. From a photo of your daily coffee to a sunrise shared from the top of a mountain hike, every Instagram moment contains something you find special-something you broadcast to your followers when you tap share," Instagram said in its official release. "There are, however, moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people-an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments."

Continue reading 'Instagram unveils new Instagram Direct for private photo sharing' (full post)

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