BlackBerry is fighting for survival in a competitive smartphone in which consumers jumped onto the Apple and Samsung bandwagons, leaving behind the once-dominant company. To make matters worse, Samsung is revamping its products to prepare for a takeover of U.S. government agencies and the enterprise workplace.
Earlier in the year, the U.S. government ordered 80,000 BlackBerry smartphones - but Samsung tallied 7,000 devices sold to the U.S. Army, with a separate deal for a few thousand devices for another government agency in the works.
Although BlackBerry still can depend on the government, Samsung is working hard to entice decision makers to adopt its government-ready devices. New BlackBerry CEO John Chen will have a fight on his hands, as he announced in 2013 that winning over enterprise customers is a major priority for the Canadian phone maker.
"We have sharpened our enterprise focus to government, regulated industries and other large organizations," while developing " a broad vision of how we will serve these companies," said John Sims, BlackBerry president leading enterprise efforts, told the Wall Street Journal.
Smartphone sales finally eclipsed the sale of traditional feature phones for the first time in 2013, though smartphone revenue will likely slow as consumers choose from cheaper devices, according to research firm Gartner. Despite the good news that smartphones have outsold feature phones, manufacturers will have to deal with dropping prices and slower-than-expected revenue growth.
Samsung, Apple and Huawei led the global market in shipped units during 2013, though Lenovo, LG Electronics, and other manufacturers are fighting for consumer attention.
"While the top three mobile manufacturers are dominating the global mobile phone market, their share collectively fell in the fourth quarter of 2013 and yearly as Chinese and regional brands continue to raise their share."
It's a great time for consumers in developed markets looking for appealing smartphones at an affordable price from wireless carriers. However, smartphone market saturation in the United States and Western Europe is slowing down, especially with consumers keeping devices for a longer time, which has led to a shakeup. Companies such as Samsung and Apple were forced to introduce cheaper models to compete with smaller companies trying to push their way into the market.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was able to gain access to classified information using a co-worker's login credentials, which led the employee to lose his security clearance and later resign.
Snowden reportedly tricked an employee to use his login credentials on Snowden's computer, and while he was unaware of Snowden's intentions, still didn't "comply with security obligations."
A U.S. lawmaker added: "Unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr. Snowden was able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified information."
In addition to the former NSA civilian contractor, a current active duty U.S. military member and another contractor lost NSA access privileges. The U.S. government is trying to accurately identify how Snowden collected so many documents which were shared with international reporters - and to prevent a similar incident from taking place again in the future.
Humans are no longer the dominant source of internet traffic if a new report from Incapsula is correct. According to the report, humans only account for about 38.5-percent of all internet traffic while search engines, and robots of a good nature accounts for about 31-percent. The other 30.5-percent are made up of malicious, nefarious, and unsavory robots. Incapsula generated the chart below based on a survey of more than 1.45 billion visits on 20,000 websites from 249 countries around the world.
Content scrapers account for about 5-percent of internet traffic, while hacking tools make up 4.5-percent. Spam bots and other bad robot-originated traffic combine to make up about 21-percent of global internet traffic. That means that in total Robots make up about 61.5-percent of all the internet traffic in the world. This number seems staggering when you consider that good bot-based traffic is almost eclipsed by the so-called bad-bot traffic, a trend that is expected to increase over the next decade.
When China launched its first lunar probe into space, there was great joy all over the world as yet another nation joined the space exploration club. Unfortunately, what followed was a string of failures for Yutu,the Chinese Lunar Rover. Yesterday, Chinese officials declared that the small rover was no longer functional and was being considered a total loss.
"A mechanical control abnormality occurred to Yutu because of the complicated lunar surface environment," said China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. Issues due to the harsh lunar environment are not isolated to China either. Back during the Apollo program, NASA experienced several issues with spacecraft and lunar vehicles due to the razor sharp lunar dust and soil that clings to everything. While the failure of Yutu is definitely tragic, it should provide some valuable insight into what China will need to prepare for if they wish to visit the Moon again.
Just when you though the console wars had died down and the battlefield had began to quieten down, a new report from Sony has came in that refuels the fight. Today Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 is now the best selling console in Australia despite Microsoft claiming it's Xbox One dominated the market down under in 2013.
Unfortunately, while the PS4 may be the best selling console in Australia at the moment, the country is still suffering from stock shortages of both consoles, and these new numbers could be greatly affected if Sony managed to get new shipments in before Microsoft did. The same can be said for Microsoft's claim of dominance in 2013, as it did manage to get more stock into the country than Sony did, and had a head start of a few weeks over Sony. Ultimately, we will have to wait until later in the year when stock levels even out and the demand no longer outpaces supply before we can get a definitive conclusion on which console Aussies like better.
During the fiscal year of 2013, ASUS managed to sell more motherboards than its closest rival, GIGABYTE, but 2014 is shaping up for both companies to go head-to-head in a battle so see who can sell the most boards. In 2013, ASUS managed to sell more than 22 million motherboards, while GIGABYTE came in a very close second at just over 21 million units sold. Newly reported numbers show that GIGABYTE may have taken an early lead for 2014 though.
A new report from DigiTimes says that GIGABYTE is on track to sell more than 5 million motherboards in the first quarter of 2014 alone, with those figures being driven by a strong market in China. China is one of GIGABYTE's biggest markets for 2014, with more than 40-percent of its sales coming from the country. With the 2014 fiscal year just beginning, there is still a lot of time for ASUS to catch up, but with numbers like these being posted, and solid high-end boards being released by GIGABYTE, ASUS has its work cut out if it hopes to surpass the current leader.
If you have ever sat in a long line outside of a fast food restaurant and wished you could just place your order with your smartphone to speed the process up, then you might just be in luck. Taco Bell is reportedly beta testing a system that would let you place your order and even pay for it before ever even arriving at the store to pick it up.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Taco Bell is testing the mobile app at five of its locations in Orange County, California, and is preparing to ramp up the program to more markets and users over the course of the next several weeks. The report also says that based on the initial success of the program, the company could roll the system out to all of its locations in the US by the end of the year.
While other restaurants have online ordering similar to this, Taco Bell is tossing a interesting twist into the mix that involves GPS location tracking. After an order has been placed, the system will track the customer via the GPS sensor in their smartphone, and when the customer is within a few minutes of the Taco Bell location, it will alert employees to begin preparing the order. This allows customers to pick up their food much faster than traditional walk-in and drive-through methods, and will save both time and money for all parties involved.
Image sharing websites such as Flickr, Imgur, and Photobucket have all grown in popularity over the last year as camera's on mobile devices get better with every revision, but popular photo sharing service 500px has up until now, refused to allow mobile images to be uploaded to its servers. This ban on mobile images is mainly because the website takes pride in offering high-quality images, something many smartphones still lack.
That all changes today! This morning, 500px announced that it has updated its iOS app and now allows the uploading of images from iPhone and iPad devices. The company says that users should not worry about an influx of low-quality images, and instead should remember the way 500px thrives based on its community. The company says that the new upload feature only allows quick uploading of images taken from a stand-alone camera via an SD to iPhone and iPad adapter. This means that images taken with the iPhone and iPad can not be uploaded directly from the app, thus keeping low-quality images out of the system.
No word was given on when this feature may be released on Android, but with the recent influx of Dual USB Drives for PC and Mobile popping up, I am sure it wont take long before the Android version of the app gets updated. As an ex-professional photographer, and someone who still shoots professionally on the side, I feel this is a good choice for 500px. Opening the service up to allow images from mobile devices themselves would simply inundate the system with very few good photos, and would flood it mediocre to poor images.
Back in August last year, we reported that Microsoft hired ex-Valve employee Jason Holtman as the head of its PC division - a position that Holtman has just left, six months into it.
The Verge talked with a Microsoft spokesperson who confirmed the news, adding that the software giant wishes him the best in the future. According to Holtman's LinkedIn profile, he left last month, but the news has only just reached the Internet. Holtman has confirmed the news through his Facebook page, where he said: "Last week I left Microsoft and said goodbye to my friends there. Now looking around for something interesting and fun-no end of that in video games!"