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Smartwatches could see 1 million sales before the end of the year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Apr 18, 2013 4:36 am

Wearable computing is really taking off this year, first we have the launch of Google Glass later in the year, but we're also going to see smartwatches gain some serious traction in the coming months. Market research firm ABI Research are predicting that smartwatches will see an explosion of sales this year, where they expect sales of 1.2 million smartwatches in 2013. Senior analyst Joshua Flood said:

 

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The strong potential emergence of smartwatches can be attributed to several reasons. Contributing factors include the high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, the wide availability and low-cost of MEMS sensors, energy-efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and a flourishing app ecosystem.

 

Will you be buying a smartwatch this year? Personally, I'm not a watch wearing type of guy, but Google Glass? Shut up and take my money.

RumorTT: Amazon acquires True Knowledge, the creator of a Siri-like voice assistant app

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 18, 2013 3:36 am

Amazon have reportedly acquired True Knowledge, a company behind a Siri-like voice assistant Evi. True Knowledge are "a British startup with a natural langage search engine developed in university labs" according to unnamed sources, reports TechCrunch.

 

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TechCrunch haven't received confirmation on this just yet, which is why we've stamped it with a RumorTT tag. But, according to TC, Amazon have paid around $26 million to acquire the app, so if this does end up being confirmed, we could see future Kindle products feature a Siri-like voice assistant.

Google Glass Explorer Edition owners prevented from loaning or selling device

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 11:32 pm

As part of the terms of sale for the Google Glass Explorer Edition, users are prevented from reselling, loaning, transferring, or giving them away. Users who break this rule could see their Glass deactivated and neither person would be entitled to a refund, support, or warranty. Ouch.

 

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You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google's authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.

 

This is somewhat understandable. This is essentially a pre-release product that Google is allowing people to have and use. However, it's not clear if Google can legally deactivate a user's hardware because he sold it. While it's true that the purchaser agreed to the terms, it seems a bit overbearing and something where the government might step in to protect consumers.

 

We still don't know when Google will be releasing a finalized version Google Glass for public purchase and consumption.

Google to acquire iProvo, a fiber-based ISP in Provo, UT

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 11:06 pm

Google seems to be expanding their push to roll out Google Fiber. Just days after announcing that Austin, Texas would be Google's second Fiber city, ArsTechnica is reporting that Google is working to acquire iProvo, a fiber-based ISP owned by the city of Provo, Utah.

 

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In order to bring Fiber to Provo, we've signed an agreement to purchase iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network owned by the city. As a part of the acquisition, we would commit to upgrade the network to gigabit technology and finish network construction so that every home along the existing iProvo network would have the opportunity to connect to Google Fiber. Our agreement with Provo isn't approved yet-it's pending a vote by the City Council scheduled for next Tuesday, April 23. We intend to begin the network upgrades as soon as the closing conditions are satisfied and the deal is closed.

 

Provo has a lot to gain from this. Not only would the city no longer have to finance the build-out of the network, Google is offering the same free 5Mbps/1Mbps connection as they have in Kansas and Austin. Google is also offering up free Gigabit connections to 25 different local public institutions, including schools, hospitals, and libraries.

Name Your Own Price Mac Bundle 2.0 up for sale, 10% of sales go to charity

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 10:31 pm

The Name Your Own Price Mac Bundle 2.0 is much like the Humble Bundle. People can choose what ever price they would like for the pack of apps, 10 percent of which goes to charity. Every buyer, no matter the price, gets three apps, while you have to beat the average price to get all ten.

 

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For the cheap--err, thrifty--among us, you'll get:

 

  • Elmedia Player Pro - $20 - Flash Video Utility
  • HoudahSpot - $29 - Spotlight Addon
  • PhotoBulk - $10 - Watermark and Photo Utility

 

If you beat the average--note, it's better to do it now as the average will continually rise as more people beat it to get all ten apps--you'll get these additional apps:

 

  • DiskTools Pro - $80 - Hard Drive Utility
  • CrossOver 12 - $60 - Run Windows Software
  • Snapz Pro X - $69 - Screenshot and Video Utility
  • Paperless - $50 - Document Manager
  • Mac Blu-ray Player - $60 - Blu-Ray Player Software
  • Gemini - $10 - Duplicate File Locator
  • Musictube - $11 - YouTube Music Player

 

All told, the entire pack is worth $399. The sale ends in just over 7 days, so you should buy soon. The current average price is $8.07, though many people have exceeded that price.

Microsoft rolling out two-step verification to Microsoft accounts

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Microsoft is pushing out a major upgrade to Microsoft account security by offering the option of two-step verification. As of late, many different online services have started to offer two-step or two-factor authentication to help keep online accounts more secure.

 

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Two-step verification usually takes a bit longer to allow access to an account, but it makes it much more difficult for a hacker to brute-force your password. To login after two-step verification is enabled, you'll be required to enter your password and a code that was sent to either an e-mail or cell phone on file.

 

You'll be able to enable two-step verification at Microsoft's website, though the option might not be immediately available. For more information about Microsoft's two-step implementation, check out their blog post.

Aereo CEO responds to CBS and FOX threats to move to cable

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 9:33 pm

CEO of Aereo, Chet Kanojia, has responded to the threats issued by CBS and FOX over Aereo not being shut down. CBS and FOX have threatened to move to a subscription platform, such as cable, if they are not successful in their lawsuit to stop the antenna-renting Aereo.

 

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"They're independent businesses, they can choose to do what they wish to," Kanojia said. "Can you disenfranchise over 54 million people over what they can rightfully do today?"

 

Broadcast TV networks have become major players in the TV game mostly due to their wide--and free--availability. Their wide audiences have also brought in massive amounts in advertising dollars, something they'll be hard-pressed to want to give up. Kanojia believes that this will ultimately result in CBS and FOX staying free broadcast networks.

Advertisers can now target Twitter users via tweet keywords

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 9:04 pm

Twitter has expanded its advertising options available to advertisers. According to Twitter, the company has added the ability for advertisers to target users based upon keywords used in a user's recent tweets. Twitter says that this is "an important new capability -- especially for those advertisers looking for signals of intent -- because it lets marketers reach users at the right moment, in the right context."

 

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This new feature is similar to Google's advertising offers in that they can reach users that are using certain words. Google offers the ability for advertisers to have ads shown when keywords are used in a search query.

 

An interesting application of this new option would be a local concert venue geotargeting tweeters who post about an upcoming band. Twitter notes that users shouldn't see much of a difference on their side. The only change will be the promoted tweets will be more targeted.

Google announces new security measures for Chrome

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 8:33 pm

Google has announced plans to implement malware warnings for downloads in Google Chrome. Google is calling these newly expanded warnings "Safe Browsing malicious download warnings." Software that falls into a specific set of criteria, as defined by Chrome, will be flagged as possibly malicious.

 

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To further safeguard you while browsing the web, we recently added new measures to protect you and your computer. These measures will identify software that violates Chrome's standard mechanisms for deploying extensions, flagging such binaries as malware. Within a week, you will start seeing Safe Browsing malicious download warnings when attempting to download malware identified by this criteria.

 

These specific forms of malware operate by "misusing Chrome's central management settings" or by manipulating Chrome preferences to re-enable silent installs. Of course, you should never download something from a source you don't trust, especially a binary package. A good anti-virus and malware protection plan will only get you so far.

Apple stock takes further dive, drops below $400 for first time since December 2011

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Apr 17, 2013 7:31 pm

Apple's stock continues to fall as more and more reports of decreased demand roll in. Today, Apple's stock dropped by almost 6 percent, slipping to under $400 for the first time since December 2011. Apple stock has since rallied slightly and is back at $401.70 at the time of writing.

 

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A major contributor to today's decrease in value is a report by DigiTimes stating that iPad mini shipments could be down by as much as 30 percent quarter-over-quarter. Another contributor is Cirrus Logic, supplier of the audio chips in Apple products, failed to meet expectations, leading many investors to believe Apple's demand is also down.

 

We'll know just how bad Apple performed when they release their financial results next week.

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