If you are one of the PC users out there who are using Windows 8.1 without a touchscreen, you may be wondering when the next update will land. Microsoft has promised to make Windows 8.1 easier to use for people that aren't on touchscreen devices with the new update.
The update is tipped to add things like a right click context menu and the ability to launch apps from the task bar. The update is also expected to put the search and power buttons inside the Start screen. Back in January, we heard that the update might land in March.
A new rumor is making the rounds that Microsoft will wait until April 8 to make that next update. The specific day the update will land according to the rumor is April 8. There is something else interesting about that date for Microsoft fans.
In a series of news releases this week, IBM is sending a message to the market that it is serious about being a major player in cloud services. Building upon its acquisition of Softlayer last year, IBM announced that it has invested over $1B in bringing a suite of development tools to the cloud to deliver a PaaS (platform as a service). In addition to this investment, they also announced the acquisition of Cloudant, a DBaaS (batabase as a service) provider.
These new services are geared towards application developers and providing them on-demand infrastructure that can be scaled up or down as requirements change. As part of the announcement, they have launched a beta version of their DevOps in the cloud solution codenamed BlueMix. BlueMix includes services to store and manage code, a built-in Web integrated development environment, and Eclipse and Visual Studio integrations to let developers use whichever environment they prefer. The platform enables agile planning, tracking, and collaboration across team members during the development cycle. Plus, there is application deployment automation to streamline delivery. Combined, the PaaS and DBaaS enable application DevOps teams to start projects faster and complete them more efficiently.
Mt.Gox was the third largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, and was also the most controversial as well. A few weeks ago the service suspended all withdrawal transactions citing a known bug in the system as the culprit, and just a week later announced that all trading and transactions would return to normal soon. Unfortunately that last statement proved to be noting more than hot air, when the service completely went down a few days ago.
Today Mt. Gox, a Japanese-based company, filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it is more than $60 million in debt. Today in a Tokyo court, officials from the company said that it has lost more than 750,000 bitcoins stored in its system owned by customers and that 100,000 of its own were gone as well. At the current going rate for a single bitcoin ($574.79 via Coinbase.) the a coins lost value at almost $450 million for customers and more than half a billion dollars total.
In the last few days Bitcoin prices have fallen several percent due to the news of Mt. Gox failing. During the court appearance Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpelès said: "There was some weakness in the system, and the bitcoins have disappeared. I apologize for causing trouble." Unfortunately for thousands of customers, simple apologies will not return the millions they lost because Mt. Gox failed to acknowledge a bug in the system that had existed for years. Bankruptcy will save the company from debt, but there should be negligence charges filed in my opinion. To let a devistating software bug exist for that long while making hundreds of millions in revenue is simply unacceptable.
Fans of Halo have been waiting in anticipation for news on when the next game in the franchise will be available to play. We heard rumors that Halo 5 was delayed until late 2015. We have also heard rumors that Halo 2 Anniversary would be launching this year.
This week Microsoft Studios' Phil Spencer tweeted a tidbit that will make fans of Halo really look forward to E3 2014 this summer. Spencer tweeted that Halo news will be coming at E3. He also noted that 343 Industries has a great plan in place, exactly what plan he is talking about is unknown.
The tweet came in response to a gamer that tweeted at Spencer a question about what was going on with the next Halo game. It's always cool when a fan can ask a simple question and get a response from someone with Microsoft that knows. It's cool to get a response even if the response really doesn't offer any more information than wait and see.
The FrostWire BitTorrent client has integrated bitcoin donation payments into its latest client build, opening the door to artists, content holders, and others to be rewarded for broader content distribution.
PayPal has remained a popular payment method for online file sharers, but bitcoin - and it's supposed increased layers of anonymity and security - and accepting a wider variety of currencies help spur donations from spontaneous contributors.
Thousands of companies and retailers accept bitcoin as a payment option, though there is continued concern related to value stability and legalities. However, services looking to receive donations and financial support should not have a problem receiving bitcoin, such as FrostWire's decision to accept payment.
Microsoft has been updating the Xbox One console regularly since it launched. The last update brought with it the ability to directly manage storage among other things. The update also brought with it a bug that left some users seeing nothing but a black screen at boot up.
The next update for the console is coming in March and the update will bring with it additional audio options. The update will bring support for Dolby Digital sound. This was something that was missed by some gamers when the console was first announced.
The Xbox One launched with support for DTS Surround Sound. The new update will add the missed Dolby Digital to the mix. It will also bring a new setting under HDMI that will allow you to select Bitstream out. Bitstream out will allow you to select DTS Digital Surround or Dolby Digital.
Dish Network is one of the most popular satellite TV providers in the US. The company has a slick Hopper whole home DVR system that will shoot recorded shows out to any TV in the home. That DVR system can also be controlled using an app running on the iPad.
The app for iPad users is called Dish Explorer. Dish has announced that it has made some updates to the Dish Explorer app that users of the system will appreciate. The updates include the addition of new controls for volume and power. The ability to control TV volume and power was missed by many users of the app in its last iterations.
Along with the new controls, the app also gets new personalized program recommendations. The program recommendations are based on your previous viewing habits. The Dish Explorer app is a second screen app that gives viewers a way to integrate social networking with their viewing.
Netflix is one of the most popular subscription streaming services on the planet with a huge number of users. The company has a bunch of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and other places and it has original programs. Netflix's House of Cards is one of its most popular programs.
Netflix recently held its announced Netflix Hack Day. The company says that the Hack Day gives its engineers a creative outlet. Hack Day lets engineers start hacking on Thursday morning and work through the night. On Friday morning, they present their projects to their peers. Netflix says that it often sees good ideas from the Hack Day.
The Hack Day last week brought with it what Netflix calls "spectacular work." The projects this time out ranged from data visualizations, to product feature ideas. Netflix has offered up some videos looking at its favorite hacks that were presented last week.
BlackBerry didn't have much success with its PlayBook tablet when it was released, but it looks like the company could revisit the tablet market in the new future.
Pocket-lint talked with BlackBerry's Vice President of Global Product Management, Francois Mahieu, who revealed that the company is considering stepping back into the tablet market. He told Pocket-lint: "Would BlackBerry consider one day re-entering the tablet market? Yes. Will BlackBerry do it in the coming months? No".
BlackBerry released the PlayBook in May of 2011, but it didn't sell anywhere near the numbers that Apple and Samsung see. Mahieu added: "When we launched PlayBook, beyond the fact that everybody knows that PlayBook was no a huge success, everybody loved it. I wouldn't be surprised if we have a meeting one day and I show you a tablet. We have equity in that space, but we're not ready. We need more time".
MWC 2014 - Industry body GSMA named LG the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year at the Global Mobile Awards this week. LG has unveiled quite a few devices at this year's Mobile World Congress, which has pushed it into award territory.
LG unveiled the G Pro 2, G Flex, G2 mini, F70, F Series and L Series. LG's market share is under 5%, so it's great to see the South Korean device maker making waves in the market with various devices. Last year, LG's G2 smartphone beat Apple's iPhone to be named smartphone of 2013 by Stuff magazine. And with 2014 just beginning, and MWC closing up, the year is only starting for LG.
Vice President of LG, Chris Yie, said: "We are incredibly humbled that GSMA selected LG from among the many capable companies in the mobile industry to honour with this award. Innovation has been the key to LG's success. This recognition, in addition to last year's Best Smartphone of MWC 2013 award, is clear proof that our hard work and effort is paying off".
The best smartphone of the year award went to HTC with its One smartphone, Nokia's Lumia 520 was named Best Low-Cost Smartphone, while Apple's iPad Air took the Best Mobile Tablet award.