Google is currently testing a new domain registration service called Google Domains. Google is very early in the testing process for the new service and Google Domains is reportedly an invite only beta service for now. People familiar with the product say that Google has no plans to provide web hosting.
Once Google Domains launches to all users it will support the buying and selling of domain names. Each domain sold by Google will support up to 100 email addresses and up to 100 customized sub-domains.
France is furious that Icann, which governs top level domains, plans to launch the .wine and .vin addresses.
In an official letter of complaint, French minister Axelle Lemaire expressed concerns that a lack of accountability in ICANN. The country fears that in launching these addresses, the identities of region-specific drinks such as champagne, which must be produced in its titular region, could be watered down.
Icann's president Fadi Chehade acknowledged the concerns. "Wine is serious," Chehade said. "We all like wine. There's no issue with the fact that wine is a serious matter, it's also a major industry for France and other parts of the world. I think that their concern about this gTLD is warranted."
An enormous 98 percent of revenues in Google's Play store now come from freemium apps - those that are free to download but require in app purchases to generate revenue.
According to a report from App Annie, general app downloads have grown a pretty formidable 50 percent from 2013 going into 2014, and income is doubled from last year's figures. Worldwide downloads and revenues are increasing by the quarter on Google Play, and the analyst company says this represents a "massive" opportunity for publishers.
The top buying market for in-app content is Japan, thanks mostly to mobile gaming. The US and South Korea come in second and third respectively. According to the report, Asian markets are the biggest spenders for in-app purchases but it looks as if the rest of the world will catch up. Games revenue climbed ten percent year on year between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014, reaching 90 percent.
Astronomers have discovered what might be the coolest and dimmest white dwarf star ever discovered. The faint star is believed to be so cool that its carbon has crystallized making it into something akin to a diamond the size of the Earth.
The star was discovered by David Kaplan and colleagues using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Green Bank Telescope and Very Long Baseline Array. Other observatories were also used to make the discovery.
The University of South Florida is setting up a drone rental scheme that will allow students to borrow a UAV from their college.
Two DJI Phantom 2 Vision drones will be available for students to borrow, and the University expects they will be popular for a variety of reasons. For example, those studying architecture will be able to aerially check out buildings instead of having to use more traditional methods. "I see us working with all kinds of departments," director of academic services, Nancy Cunningham, said.
Any prospective pilots will have to take a course in safely operating the drones, and each time they are used staff will be on hand to make sure things go smoothly. The scheme will run from Fall 2014 at the Tampa campus library. It's the latest technological upgrade to the university, which installed a smart lab at the library in 2013.
Almost half of public and private sector organisations in Europe are actively blocking people's access to their own personal data, which is against European law.
A study, which was part of the IRISS - Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies - project examined 184 public and private sector groups across 10 European countries. The requests included paper, digital and CCTV records, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine. Of the requests made, 43 percent were not fulfilled or a legitimate reason was not provided for the lack of disclosure. Over half of all cases - at 56 percent - found no legally compliant response at all over third party data sharing.
"We are selectively marketed to, our locations are tracked by CCTV and automated licence plate recognition systems and our online behavior is monitored, analysed, stored and used," said Professor Clive Norris, of the University of Sheffield. "The challenge for all of us is that our information is often kept from us, despite the law and despite our best efforts to access it."
When it comes to autonomous vehicles that can drive themselves, Google is the name that many think of. Google isn't the only major company working in the autonomous car market though. A company called Cruise is now taking pre-orders for a product called the RP-1 that will turn two Audi car models into self-driving cars. The RP-1 product works with the Audi A4 and S4 cars.
Cruise will begin to put the RP-1 on cars early next year with pre-orders underway right now for the first 50 RP-1 units. Cruise is working on making its self-driving tech compatible with other cars, with the product dubbed a highway autopilot.
Once the driver is in a lane on the highway, they can press a button and the RP-1 system will take over control of the accelerator, brake pedals, and steering. The system can be turned off easily if the driver takes over the steering wheel or taps the throttle pedal. The Cruise RP-1 accessory costs $10,000 and straps to the roof of the car.
Whithings is the company that has rolled out some interesting health products over the years. Withings is the firm behind the web-connected scale that will share your weight loss via social media. The company is back with a new product that is part fancy Swiss watch and part activity tracker.
Unlike some activity tracking smartwatches, the Withings Activite isn't able to offer you notifications from your smartphone for calls or texts. What it is able to do is track progress towards your daily fitness goals as well as your sleep. Activite connects to iPhones only via Bluetooth and syncs data with an app running on your smartphone.
The watch has a smart alarm clock that vibrates to wake you up at the lightest point in the sleep cycle. All of the tech is packed away inside a round analog watch that looks very nice. The Withings Activite will sell for $390, comes with brown or black leather bands, and was announced this week.
Sprint has been rolling out HD Voice in markets around the US for months now and has recently announced that HD Voice is now nationwide. Sprint's HD Voice service is currently supported on 28 smartphones on the postpaid side of the network and on 33 devices on the pre-paid side. About 16 million Sprint customers have access to HD Voice enabled devices at this time.
HD Voice uses tech to minimize background noise allowing calls to be clearer. Along with nationwide HD Voice service, Sprint has also announced that it has activated new LTE networks in 28 markets Sprint now covers 471 cities with LTE.
Right now 225 million people are covered by Sprint LTE service with the carrier expecting to cover 250 million people in the US with LTE by the middle of 2014. Sprint Spark service is turned on in three new markets including St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.
TCL has just taken the wraps off of its new Ultra HDTV lineup, with five new products for consumers to choose from. The new 4K-capable TVs are all HDMI 2.0 compliant, which means you can use HDMI for 60FPS goodness.
Starting with sizes, where we have two non 'Smart TV' models with the EU5700 series, available in 40- and 49-inch. Then we have three Smart TV models, which are all from the UH9500 Smart TV series, these are available in 55-, 65- and 85-inch. The 40-inch is priced at $499, while the 49-inch is $100 at $599.
Moving onto the 55-inch UH9500 Smart TV, which is priced at $799 - this is going to be a hot seller in the coming months at that price. The 65-inch is priced very competitively at $1,299 while the 85-inch is priced for the serious HT users at a whopping $7,999. The 40- and 49-inch models are the models TCL will be pushing for gamers, photographers, designers or people who want to display Ultra HD content from an external device.
The UH9500 series features 802.11 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi, with the 55- and 65-inch models powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, a quad-core GPU, an advanced 120Hz refresh rate, three HDMI inputs, and two USB ports (one USB 2.0, one USB 3.0). The top-of-the-line 85-inch UH9500 series TV is powered by the same CPU and GPU, but pumps the refresh rate up to 240Hz, features enhanced audio thanks to its dual 15W speakers and Dolby Digital technology for more immersive sound.