A couple days ago, we mentioned that rumors were circulating that Tesla and Apple had met up. The rumors were thought to indicate Apple wanted to buy the electric car marker. Another possibility was that Apple and Tesla were meeting about a battery factory. Both firms want to drive down the cost of lithium batteries.
Apple isn't the sort of company that will ever comment on rumors, other than to say that it won't comment on rumors. Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the other hand has never been afraid to tell people what he thinks or what is going on. Musk recently confirmed that Tesla had in fact talked with Apple.
Musk wouldn't say what exactly the meeting was about. He noted that he though Apple buying a car company was a good idea, but also said that the chances of Tesla selling were "very unlikely." Musk also noted that he would be willing to talk about selling if that meant his goal of making an affordable mass market EV would be closer to reality.
Volvo is a name that usually brings to mind safe, if rather boring cars and SUVs. Volvo has announced that it will be on hand at Mobile World Congress in Spain to show off its new delivery service. That new delivery service is called Roam Delivery.
The idea is that the Roam Delivery service will allow owners of Volvo cars to accept deliveries and drop packages off for pickup directly from their car. The service will use Volvo digital keys and allows the owner of the car to choose their vehicle as the drop off or pick up location. When the order is ready to be delivered, the owner of the car will get a message via text.
The digital key will allow the delivery person access to the vehicle where they can leave what you ordered or pick things up to ship them off. The owner of the car is notified when the car is opened and when it is closed again. The digital key is a onetime use item and ceases to function after the car is closed.
In a report commissioned by Emulex Corporation, the research team at Forrester recently surveyed 158 IT professionals regarding managing business-critical applications and the infrastructure surrounding them. Of the respondents, nearly 90% are in a management role or above and consider themselves infrastructure professionals.
Of these respondents, 56% said that over 25% of their critical performance issues cannot be solved within 24 hours. Further, that the most difficult problems can take well over a month to fix, with the majority of the time being wasted on just figuring out what is going on.
In the report, Forrester extracts 3 key findings from their research:
- Improving workforce productivity and managing costs are key business objectives.
- Network and security issues are two of the main factors affecting end-user productivity.
- Network visibility is a foundational tool to remediation.
Over the last few years Sceptre has gone from a little known brand that pretty much only sold online to a brand that you can find in many large retail stores around the country. The company was first known for computer monitors and TVs, but it has now branched out into other product categories.
One of those other product categories is the portable speaker realm. Sceptre has unveiled its latest Bluetooth speaker called the SoundPal. The speaker uses Bluetooth 2.1 for connectivity with your portable device. It also has NFC tech inside for easy paring with NFC equipped devices.
The SoundPal has a microSD card slot so you can play your digital tunes directly over the speaker without needing to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. The speaker also has a 3.5mm audio input jack for connecting devices that lack Bluetooth.
The tech world is still shocked this morning at yesterday's news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion, and now new details have emerged that suggest that Facebook was not the only one looking to buy the worlds largest instant messaging service. A new report from Fortune says that WhatsApp turned down an offer of $10 billion from Google when the offer did not include a seat on Google's board of directors.
The report also says that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zukerberg, made the $16 billion offer to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on the 9th of February and the pair finalized the deal just five days later. The deal was reportedly sealed on Valentines day, when Koum arrived at the Zuckerberg home and interrupted a dinner between Mark and his wife. After finalizing things over chocolate covered strawberries, Koum walked away with a seat on Facebook's board and a few billion dollars richer.
If you spend lots of time during the day stuck in front of a computer, you are probably out for anything that can make all that computer use more comfortable. There are few things that are more of a literal pain in the neck than having to look down at a computer screen all day because it won't go high enough for your comfort.
There are bunches of monitor stands out there that will lift the screen up to a more comfortable level. Satechi has a new monitor stand that will lift up your screen or notebook and has some features that make it more like a docking station as well.
The monitor stand is called the Satechi F1 Smart Monitor Stand. The device will lift the screen of your computer or notebook up several inches. It also has a quartet of USB 2.0 ports on the front and jacks for your headphones and mic.
Garmin is famous in the GPS world for making products ranging from navigation apps for smartphones to PND devices for cars and watches for athletes and outdoors types. Garmin has announced a new GPS watch that is aimed at athletes that like multiple sports. The new watch is called the fenix 2.
Garmin bills the watch as the ultimate multisport adventure watch and it has features for running, climbing, riding, hiking, skiing, and swimming. The watch is water resistant and can survive the outdoors. It features an altimeter, barometer, and a 3-axis compass.
It also provides GPS navigation for people when they are off the beaten path. It will store breadcrumbs to make sure you can find your way back when needed. The GPS functionality supports up to 10,000 track points and 1000 waypoints. Those GPS details can be shared with other Garmin devices via Bluetooth.
Acer has pulled the covers off the latest smartphones to slip into the firms Liquid range. The last smartphone we talked about form Acer was the Liquid S2. That was the first smartphone to be able to record 4K video. We spent hands on time with the Liquid S2 last year.
Acer's latest Liquid devices include the Liquid E3 and Liquid Z4. The Liquid E3 is the more interesting of the two devices and has a 4.7-inch HD IPS screen. The smartphone also has an 8.9mm thick unibody. Acer fits it with a 2MP front camera with its own LED flash for selfie pics.
The rear camera of the smartphone is an f1.8 13MP unit with fast focus. The smartphone also uses a 1.2GHz quad-core processor 1GB of memory, 4GB of internal storage, Wi-Fi, and GPS. The E3 runs Android 4.2.2 and an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat is promised. Launch is set for April in Europe for €199.
The original Oculus Rift development kit (or DK1) is no longer being manufactured by Oculus VR, with the company out of the necessary materials to produce more Rift DK1 units, according to a post on the /r/Oculus section of Reddit.
Oculus VR is "looking for alternate sources for the needed components", but doesn't have a time frame of when additional Rift units will be made available. The company will sell out of its inventory in each region, but once this happens it will halt sales in that particular region until it can deliver new orders to consumers.
Right now, Oculus VR is only selling and shipping Rift DK1 units to the following countries:
- United States
- Countries in the European Union
- South Korea
Not so surprisingly, /r/Oculus poster 'cybereality' said: "We never expected to sell so many development kits and VR only made this much progress with the community's support and enthusiasm. Even though we never wanted to sell out, it's a good problem to have -- Thank you!"
Mobile World Congress 2014 kicks off in Barcelona, Spain next week, and the latest rumor is that HTC will unveil a smartwatch at the event. The device in question would be powered by Qualcomm internals.
Considering Qualcomm has its own smarwatch in the Qualcomm Toq, this would be an interesting move for the struggling Taiwanese company to pull off. Bloomberg is behind the report, which states that the company might also show off a second smartwatch that would use the amazing powers of Google Now, as well as an "electronic bracelet that plays music". Next week should be quite hot with mobile and wearable devices, that's for sure!