It looks like Google is preparing to update its Nexus range of devices with an even newer version of its deliciously-named KitKat OS. The new update would crank it up to version 4.4.1.
We don't know what to expect from this small update, but I would put bets on just small bug fixes. The news is coming from 9to5Google's analytics, which show a few devices running Android 4.4.1 originating from Google's Santa Clara, California HQ.
Another step to ending the endless stream of patent lawsuits filled by patent trolls is almost complete. Today AllThingsD is reporting that supporters are confident that a bill designed to stifle abusive patent lawsuits will pass in the House of Representatives later this week.
"The Innovation Act from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) is aimed at discouraging patent holders from filing frivolous lawsuits in hopes of extracting a settlement. The bill would give judges more discretion to limit discovery or award legal fees when a lawsuit fails to prove infringement," the report read.
With major corporations such as Newegg.com losing frivolous patent lawsuits to known patent trolls such as TQP Development something must be done, or innovation could be suppressed for decades while inventors, developers, and designers wait for existing patents to expire. Personally, I feel that the entire US and UK patent systems need a complete overhaul. They worked well during the industrial revolution and even somewhat well since them, but in today's world of 0's and 1's, we need to pay very close attention to what we allow to be patented, or we may miss out on the next big breakthrough in science.
It's no secret that Valve has been very Linux friendly as of late, and today the company publicly declared its commitment to the open source operating system by officially joining the Linux Foundation. This adds Valve to a prestigious list of heavy hitters such as HP, Intel, IBM, Oracle, and Samsung who are also part of the foundation.
"Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming," Mike Sartain, a key member of the Linux team at Valve said. "Through these efforts we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users."
With SteamOS just around the corner, and more game developers supporting Linux and Steam every day, 2014 is going to be a big year for Linux gaming. I have a friend who has been predicting this for several years now, and today I had to concede all of my arguments to him on why this would never happen. At the rate things are progressing, I am willing to bet that in 5 years Linux and SteamOS will be as big of, if not a larger gaming platform than Windows is now.
Apple has finally inked the deal it has been waiting for, with the world's largest carrier: China Mobile. The Wall Street Journal was the first to break the news, stating that iPhones will be available through China Mobile by the end of the month.
China Mobile is expected to announce its new 4G service on, or around December 18, so we should expect the iPhone to go on sale at that time. This is a big deal for Apple, as it continues to bleed customers to Samsung around the world, it now has tens of millions of new customers it can begin to scoop up into the world of iOS.
Google's Wallet app for iOS has just received its first update since its release back in September. The new Google Wallet 2.0 brings forth a few new features that will make using the money service much easier for iPhone users. The update adds a new feature that lets users add credit cards to their wallet by simply snapping a photo of the card and more.
Single Sign-on is also now supported, and users who use other Single Sign-On compatible apps from Google can switch to the wallet app and sign in automatically. Additionally, the physical Google Wallet Card can now be used to withdraw funds from user's iOS Wallet account at ATMS, or any location that accepts MasterCard.
Billionaire activist is at it again, and this time he is pushing Apple to buy back $50 billion worth of its shares from investors. Today Time Magazine reported that Icahn has filed a proposal that he hopes will pressure Apple into increasing its share buyback program to a whopping $50 billion.
Apple has confirmed that the proposal has been filed, but no comment on the actual proposal was made. Apple could more than afford the buyback, but it would cut its cash reserves significantly. On the other hand, with Apple's stock falling over the course of the last 12 months, the buyback increase could see some investors make back some of their lost investments.
Android tablet owners in the UK will be happy to hear that today, Sky TV launched its Sky Go app for Android. While the service has been available on Android-based smartphones for a while now, but today marks the firs time it has been available to the public on Android Tablets.
Unfortunately, not all Android tablets are supported by Sky Go at the moment. For the app to work on your device, the tablet must be at least in the 7-inch class or higher, and Android 4.0 or higher is required. This means that the vast majority of tablets released in the last two years are compatible and all the modern t-inch or larger tablets will work. A 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection is also required, but that is almost a given at this point.
Over the last 18 months or so, we have watched Beats by Dre work to get a Spotify-like music streaming service off the ground, and it appears that it just may happen come January 2014. According to Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers, the company is prepared to launch next month, and while he did not mention any specific date, many suspect it to happen during CES.
"Beats Music is real. We're in an internal, private beta with people who know and love music (including a few of my personal heroes). We're providing a few artists and other influencers access to familiarize them with the service and get their early feedback," said Rogers. "We're making improvements based on that feedback. We can't wait to share it with the world, and are set to launch in the US in January."
Rogers also announced that the Beats Music has partnered with AT&T which could see the service pre-installed on iOS and Android phones sold by the carrier. Beats also announced that users can head over to Beatsmusic.com and register their user name now to ensure they get something unique and personally identifying.
2014 is going to be a big year for SSD technology in general, and the second quarter is going to be no exception for Intel's SSD business. Today new official slides have leaked that detail a massive portion on Intel's 2014 SSD offerings, and include new devices in the Temple Star, Pleasantdale, and Fultondale lines.
All three of the SSD families will utilize 20nm MLC NAND Flash memory and will arrive in three form factors. The SSD Pro 2500 Series (Temple Star) will be featured in traditional 2.5-inch and M.2 sizing with performance falling in the 540MB/s read and 490MB/s write speed range. The slide shows capacities from 80GB up to 480GB.
The SSD DC P3500 series (Pleasantdale) will arrive in both PCIe and 2.5-inch form factors, and will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Read performance is around the 2800MB/s range while writes are a little slower at 1700MB/s.
The MPAA has won a 3-year long lawsuit against Hotfile, a file sharing service that payed users to upload and share various files including pirated movies. Today the two parties agreed on an $80 million settlement, and Hotfile was ordered to cease all operations unless it implement's digital fingerprinting of files.
"This judgment by the court is another important step toward protecting an Internet that works for everyone. Sites like Hotfile that illegally profit off of the creativity and hard work of others do a serious disservice to audiences, who deserve high-quality, legitimate viewing experiences online," said MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd.
This is yet another big win for the MPAA against online piracy, and even though only a fraction of the $500 million the MPAA was seeking was ordered, Hotfile may not survive this outcome. At the current time, Hotfile has removed all premium offerings from its service, and it is unclear if any future payments will be made to it users.