Google's Street View is one of the revolutionary products from the company that forever changed the way we navigate the world. With Google's recent expansion of Street View to locations beyond city streets, the service has become much more than a simple navigation too, and people are using it to take virtual vacations to remote places all over the world. Today Google rolled out more images for its Underwater Street View library, taking us to popular diving spots in Cancun, and Isla Mujeres.
These latest editions join a collection of underwater panoramic photos from hot spots such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Philippines, and Hawaii as well as spots from Bermuda Monoco, and the Galapagos Islands. Each photographic excursion takes place over a 2-3 kilometer area and is comprised of some 3000-4000 images that are later stitched together to form the breathtaking panoramic images seen in Street View.
For right now, Google seems to be focusing mainly on areas around North and South America, but the company says that in the future it will expand to the rest of the worlds underwater treasures, and that it expects to have a much larger uncatalogued within the next two years. Projects like this are one of the most important things Google does in my opinion as we know more about outer space than we do about the Earths Oceans. Personally, I hope Google teams up with someone like NOAA or Odyssey to do more panoramic images of deep water sunken ships and other ruins that lay below the waters surface.
Today Buffalo announced the launch of three new high-speed AirStation wireless routers based on the open source DD-WRT firmware. The new AirStation AC 1750 WZR-1750DHPD, AirStation N600 WZR-600DHP2D, and the AirStation N300 WHR-300HP2D all feature DD-WRT Linux-based firmware that provides a high-performance and stable networking stack that is highly customization and community driven.
Buffalo says that the new generation of AirStation Wireless Routers provide high-performance networking, advanced features, and low-level device management while unlocking extensive capabilities with increased network stability. The company's decision to continue offering DD-WRT firmware in its routers offers consumers powerful features not found on other closed-source firmware-based routers of similar pricing points. DD-WRT provides the stability and configuration options needed for high-end home networking or the small business networking environment.
"Consumers and business professionals are demanding increased access and control of their wireless network configurations," said Matt Dargis, COO at Buffalo Americas (USA), Inc. "We launched new open source DD-WRT models of the AirStation router to address this rising demand, giving users the ability to unlock advanced capabilities of their wireless routers at a cost effective price. These features, such as PPTP, OpenVPN and VLAN, allow network administrators and programmers to enable advanced features typically unavailable in consumer-grade wireless routers."
Apple quietly provided iOS 7.0.6 update to fix a vulnerability issue in an SSL connection verification. Many security experts concluded that there's a major security flaw found in the OS.
End users should update their Apple devices with the latest iOS patch. Such users who do not do so could be to open to attacks or or have data being viewed, altered or downloaded via the SSL. The security patch document specified that iOS Secure Transport 'failed to validate the authenticity of the connection'.
It was also reported that banks have contacted their customers and advised them to update to iOS 7.0.6 immediately.
MWC 2014 - During a panel discussion in Barcelona this week, Motorola senior vice president, Rick Osterloh, says that the company is planning on launching a new smartwatch later this year. The wearable device is said to address issues consumers have with current smartwatch models on the market and will improve on style and battery life. It is unknown what the smartwatch may look like, but we are willing to bet that Motorola will steer clear of its MotoACTV design that saw less than stellar sales since its launch.
This news comes as a surprise, especially since the company is in the midst of a transition of ownership phase between Google and its new owners, Lenovo. From a business standpoint, the announcement does make some sense though as smartwatches and other wearable technology are at the forefront of consumer spending, a market which is dominated by LG, Pebble, and Samsung at the moment. Let's just hope that Motorola can pull it off this time under the leadership of Lenovo.
Since his first day on the job, BlackBerry's new CEO, John Chen, has been focused on rebuilding the company from the ashes left over from his predecessors tenure with the company. That does not mean that he would not sell off key components of the company if the right offer was made. During an interview with CNBC, Chen told reporters that he would sell off BlackBerry Messenger, the company's widely popular messaging service, if the price was right.
"If somebody comes to me with $19 billion I would definitely sell it," Chen said. "I mean, I would recommend to the board to take it." He was of course referring to the total selling price that Facebook acquired WhatsApp for earlier this week. Unfortunately it seems that the greatly inflated acquisition of WhatsApp has set a false precedence or "bar" if you will at what companies value their messaging services at.
Unfortunately what I feel is happening is that another .com bubble is inflating, and eventually the market will not be able to sustain all of these $1 billion, $3 billion, and $19 billion valuations, causing the bubble to burst the same way it did in the late 90s. It feels like every tech company, start-up, and company fork is being valued at $1 billion plus these days, and that trend does not seem to be slowing at all. Eventually something will have to give, and the aftermath will not be pretty if history is any indication.
MWC 2014 - AMD has partnered with Bluestacks to unveil a new dual-OS Android solution that has been optimized for AMD APUs at this weeks Mobile World Congress. The new dual OS solution brings a virtualized Android experience to new Microsoft Windows 8-based AMD-based tablets, 2-in-1s, notebooks and desktops and can be found on devices at select retailers across the US now.
"The ability to span two OS ecosystems gives end-users access to both Windows and Android apps, but the key is providing for the seamless integration of entertainment and productivity across those ecosystems," said Steve Belt, corporate vice president, Product Management, at AMD. "Introducing our solution in retail puts AMD and BlueStacks in a unique position to offer in-store customers the option to include access to this great experience at the time of purchase of their new systems."
Irvine, Ca. based WD, a Western Digital company, launched its entrance into the surveillance specific drive market today with a new line of HDDs named WD Purple. These 3.5" drives are designed specifically to address the unique requirement of CCTV applications that are always-on and write intensive. With capacities up to 4TB they are capable of supporting 32 high definition cameras.
WD Purple drives can be stacked in an eight bay array, which according to Ying Yang, director of testing, Hikvision, adds "flexibility to expand for future system coverage". In addition to increased flexibility, the company's proprietary AllFrame technology implemented in WD Purple protects against pixilation and dropped frames.
While the general conscious is that the Galaxy S5 is nothing to get terribly excited about, the phone does bring a few new features to the market and it can now lay claim to being the fastest gaming smartphone in the world. Today Rightware announced that the Samsung Galaxy S5 scored high enough in its Basemark X benchmark to claim the number one spot on its fastest smartphones list.
Featuring a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked to 2.5GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU, the Galaxy S5 was able to obtain a Basemark X score of 23501.52 which is 1155.36 points higher than its closest competitor the ASUS Padfone Infinity 2 which runs the Qualcomm MSM8974, a quad-core processor clocked to 2.1GHz. The Galaxy S5 also beat out the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, and both variants of the Xperia Z1.
There are plenty of smartwatches on the market today. Samsung has its Gear line of products and there is the Pebble smartwatches as well. Qualcomm has had its Toq smartwatch on the market for a while. The watch launched in December of last year.
So far, the reviews of the Toq have been mixed and sales haven't been as strong as Qualcomm probably hoped. Today the announcement was made that the Toq will be cheaper. Not just a little cheaper either, Qualcomm has cut the price of its Toq smartwatch by $100.
The new retail price for the Toq is $250, it launched at $350. Other than the price cut, the watch maintains the same features. Qualcomm is selling the Toq in black or limited edition white via its website for $249.99 right now.
RSA 2014 - During the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco, the non-profit Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode) released software security training courses to help drive interest in better cyber security training.
The free training courses are available via webcast and cover a variety of different topics, including SQL injection prevention to cross site request forgery. Each course is designed to help security experts develop their own internal training programs for use by product developers and others concerned about security.
The current course offerings: Product Penetration Testing 101, Cross Site Scripting (XSS) 101, and Secure Java Programming 101 - SAFECode will launch Secure Memory Handling in C 101, and Using Cryptography the Right Way.