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Apple co-founder: Apple needs to make Android-based smartphones

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 12:35 am

During an interview with Wired, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that the iPhone maker needs to build Android-based smartphones in order to boost its market share.

 

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He added that the iPhone has the right amount of features and capabilities, and doesn't need the added innovations - that are sometimes gimmicky - that other smartphones have. Wozniak added: "There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market. We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of styling and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time".

 

Apple could use Android on the iPhone, as it is an open source OS - it wouldn't be anywhere near as good as a pure Android device like the Nexus line of smartphones, but it would be an interesting path for Apple to take.

Flappy Bird creator is removing the game, 'cannot keep it anymore'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 9, 2014 12:23 am

Flappy Bird burst onto the scene, addicted thousands, and is now disappearing behind the shadows once again. Creator of the game, Dong Nguyen, has tweeted that he plans to "take Flappy Bird down".

 

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He said he would take it down 22 hours after posting the tweet, which went live at 2:02pm EST. Nguyen clarified: "it's not anything related to legal issues," adding "I just can't keep it anymore". There's no exact reason behind Nguyen's reasoning for taking it down, as he also dismissed the idea of selling Flappy Bird, too.

Watching Sochi 2014 coverage? Thank Microsoft for Azure

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 9:31 pm

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia is being broadcasted by NBC in the United States, with streams into the living room, over the Internet, and on mobile devices. NBC teamed up with Microsoft, using the company's Azure Media Services video service platform that Microsoft powers with its own data centers.

 

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Analysts believe Olympic viewers will watch and stream the Olympics for at least six hours per day, which was the average during the 2012 London Olympics.

 

"We are pleased to be working once again with Microsoft, and we are confident that Windows Azure Media Services will help us provide the most robust streaming experience ever for a Winter Olympics," said Richard Cordella, NBC Sports Group Digital Media GM, in a statement.

 

Major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup, present a great opportunity for tech companies to test their cloud computing products. Microsoft Azure already powers around half of Fortune 500 companies, and working with NBC at the Olympics presents a great way to woo potential clients.

California lawmaker wants smartphone kill-switches mandatory

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 7:38 pm

California lawmakers want to make mandatory smartphone kill-switch requirements for phones in case of theft, an epidemic on the rise through metropolitan cities throughout the United States. Senate Bill 962 would take effect for both smartphones and tablets, as both mobile electronics become more common place among casual consumers.

 

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"This is an important day for wireless consumers everywhere," said George Gascon, San Francisco District Attorney, in a press statement. "This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft solutions, and begin embracing the inevitability. The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers."

 

Gascon also added that SB 962 would help clamp down on the market for stolen devices in California.

 

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) created the bill that would make it a requirement for smartphone makers to provide the built-in kill switches by Jan. 1, 2015. More than 50 percent of thefts in San Francisco involve an Apple iPhone or other smartphone, local city officials recently reported.

 

There is some concern from privacy experts that remote phone backdoors could lead to intrusion from cyber criminals. The law could also make smartphone manufacturers need to rethink hardware used in current and future products, as they rebel against the thought of a mandatory kill switch.

Russia bans bitcoin currency, other countries might follow suit

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 6:16 pm

The bitcoin currency has been banned in Russia due to increased threat of cyber criminals using the digital currency to launder funds. Money remains a state-controlled currency, so the rise of independent crypto currencies, such as bitcoin, makes it difficult to determine the right method to address these problems.

 

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"The monitoring of the use of virtual currencies shows an increasing interest in them, including for the purpose of money laundering, profit obtained through illegal means," prosecutors told Russian media.

 

Bitcoin adoption has been a rather confusing effort, with an increasing amount of retailers accepting the digital currency - while government officials in the United States and overseas try to figure out what to do. The U.S. Department of Justice accusing a major bitcoin supporter of money laundering related to the online Silk Road marketplace. The national governments in China and India have expressed concerns related to bitcoin, while the United States is following closely but doesn't appear ready to ban the currency.

Digital store fronts are shiny, but consumers aren't engaging much

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 5:52 am

Digital stores saw great success in 2013, and the digital storefront also reached bigger high-definition screens with increased resolutions. Stores are able to broadcast dynamic digital content, including mall maps, in-store coupons and promotions, and customer potentials.

 

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This so-called "hybrid shopping concept" is popping up in higher-end retailers and shopping malls, and is becoming more affordable, but a recent blog posted on Forrester revealed a few additional details. Digital storefronts were not disruptive, guests were able to interact with the digital storefront but didn't seem interested to engage product brands.

 

The Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall, located in downtown San Francisco on Market Street, teamed up with eBay to unveil a large digital storefront (image in story). Visitors tend to be interested in anything tech-related in San Francisco, so it's possible digital storefronts can be successful in select markets.

GoPro is going public, with the required paperwork now filed

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 3:32 am

Action camera maker GoPro has just filed the required paperwork to see the company push toward an initial public offering, or IPO. In GoPro's statement, it said that the IPO is expected to commence after the SEC completes the review process of their confidential submission.

 

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Because of the confidentiality, there's no details on GoPro's financial state, as the company has less than $1 billion in annual sales, the IPO can be confidential. During an interview with Forbes last year, GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman said that the company sold 2.3 million cameras in 2012, pulling in more than $520 million.

 

GoPro's financial information will remain confidential until it gets closer to its shares being traded.

MasterCard and Visa to push PIN-based cards in the US late next year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 2:28 am

Something that has been normal for quite sometime in most parts of the world, a PIN-based credit card, is being pushed in the United States by MasterCard and Visa late next year.

 

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The credit card giants will phase out the face-to-face signature-based cards that most people have, with new cards that feature a microchip inside that replaces the magnetic strip on today's cards. Over 25% of all credit card transactions are done so within the US, but MasterCard's Caryoln Balfany talked with the Wall Street Journal recently, saying that there is a good reason why the US market hasn't moved toward this sooner.

 

Most markets moved to the new PIN-based system in order to fight against high levels of fraud, while others struggled with robust telephone networks, liked the appeal of still doing transactions offline. As other markets became zipped up and more secure, criminals moved most of their operations to the US, where the signature is still used. This low level of security is a major driving force as to why nearly half the world's credit card fraud is done within the US.

Over 15 million copies of Diablo 3 have been sold

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 1:30 am

Activision Blizzard has announced that over 15 million copies of Diablo 3 have been sold. The news comes thanks to the company's latest financial report.

 

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The report also stated that World of Warcraft ended 2013 with 7.8 million subscribers, where it continues to be one of the world's most popular subscription-based MMORPG's. Shifting back to Diablo, Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick says that the high Diablo 3 sale numbers is great as we head closer to Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, which gets released next month.

Nikon's new Coolpix AW120 is rugged enough for world travelers

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Cameras | Posted: Feb 8, 2014 12:36 am

Nikon has just shown off two new rugged compact digital cameras that are designed for those who like to travel and adventure outdoors. The new Coolpix AW120m features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor along with a 5X optical zoom lens. The camera is able to survive falls from as high as six feet and can withstand water submersion up to 54 feet deep.

 

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The AW120m boast a 24mm, f/2.8 lens and is capable of continuous shooting at 6.9 frames per second. Integrated Wi-Fi and GPS round out the feature set, and you can expect to see it on store shelves around February 27th. Nikon also released the Coolpix S32, a stripped down version that features a 13-megapixel censor, and waterproof rating. There is no built-in Wi-Fi or GPS however, and it is only shock rated to about four feet. It will arrive on shelves on the 27th as well.

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