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Samsung has announced a new streaming music service is has dubbed Milk, something the company worked with Slacker to develop, with the service launching with around 200 radio stations, and over 13 million songs available.
It's quite unique, with a circular dial that is similar to analog radio dials, where you just slide your finger around the dial to "tune in" to various genres of music. Once you've found a station that you like, simply run your finger along the inside of the dial to choose difference channels within that genre.
Competing streaming music services aren't all that intuitive, so it's refreshing to see Samsung thinking outside of the box with Milk Music. Samsung's Ryan Bidan has said that there is a group of consumers that haven't dived into the mobile music market because current services are simply too hard to understand, with people not liking advertising with what consumers have used so far.
As with anything on the internet, Porn always finds a way to infiltrate it, and Twitter is apparently fed up with pornographic material making its way onto its Vine video app. Today Twitter changed Vine's Terms of Service to explicitly ban the uploading of pornographic material or any nudity what-so-ever if it is not classified as artistic or as part of a documentary.
"As we've watched the community and your creativity grow and evolve, we've found that there's a very small percentage of videos that are not a good fit for our community. So we're making an update to our Rules and Terms of Service to prohibit explicit sexual content," the company said in a blog post. "For more than 99 percent of our users, this doesn't really change anything. For the rest: we don't have a problem with explicit sexual content on the Internet -- we just prefer not to be the source of it."
The new rules are inline with several popular apps and social media site's policies on nudity and pornography, but some industry analyst are suggesting that Twitter updated Vine's ToS to appease some of Apple's App Police from making a push to ban the app from the app store. It's still unclear weather or not this change will also effect Twitter itself as the social network has thousands of active accounts from the porn industry.
Users will now be able to get their hands-on the first public release of VLC media player for Windows 8 via the Windows store on March 10th, coming this Monday. The announcement was made by VideoLAN via its Twitter account.
Earlier in 2012, VLC started a Kickstarter campaign which ended as a success in raising the necessary funds. Along the way, VideoLAN showed off their work-in-progress media app player. Some time ago, it was reported that VLC was passed to have its passed and will be placed on the app store. Now that the team was able to take care of last minute bug fixes, it was two days away for its release.
Oscar Mayer is a company that has been making lunchmeats and bacon for decades. The company has unveiled an interesting, if a bit weird, accessory for the iPhone called Wake Up & Smell the Bacon. This device is an app and hardware combo.
The hardware plugs into the iPhone and has some sort of system for producing the smell of cooking bacon using a scent canister. The app portion has an alarm clock and when your alarm goes off you are woke up to the sound and smell of cooking bacon.
I can't think of a better way to get up in the morning than the scent of bacon. It would be better if you woke up to real bacon. A company called Scentee in Japan makes the device and you can't buy the device at all. The only way to get your hands-on the bacon-scented alarm clock is by answering a quiz at the Oscar Mayer website. The good news is that anyone who wants to will be able to download the app.
Twitch made an announcement recently that they've released its mobile software development kit which will allow developers to add livestreaming and screen capture functionality in its mobile games. This will allow mobile gamers to livestream their mobile game online via Twitch and even capture screenshots.
"Our vision is to provide the Twitch community with the ability not only to view, but to broadcast live video game content wherever they are, whether they're on the go or in the living room," VP for marketing Matthew DiPietro said. "We've achieved that with our PC and console integrations, so the trifecta will soon be complete with our deep and concerted foray into mobile broadcasting."
Evernote for Windows got a big update today that includes several new features that users have been asking for. The first new feature allows users to annotate images inside their notes by simply mousing over the image and clicking the annotate button that appears in the top right corner of the image. Once annotation is open, users can use arrows, and stamps to highlight portions of the image as well as adding text, shapes or even crop and re-size the image.
The other new feature affects Evernote Business users or those with very large accounts. Their data will sync much faster now, and in some cases, Evernote says that the syncing will be instantaneous and not noticeable by users. Additionally, Evernote says that stability has improved, as well as a few bugs have been squashed with this update. I never really got into the Evernote craze, but with these new features, I may just have to give it a second chance.
Facebook's messenger app has been available on Android and iOS for quite some time now but has taken its sweet time arriving on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. Today Microsoft announced that Facebook Messenger is now available for for download in the Windows Phone store. The app is quite similar to its counterparts on Android and iOS, with features like group-chat, stickers, and picture messaging, but the nifty Chat Heads feature is missing.
Industry analyst are quick to point out that Facebook Messenger has arrived just before Microsoft releases its next update to Windows Phone 8.1, an update that will see Redmond pull back from some of its integration of FB and Windows Phone. This is a move that will allow Facebook to handle more of the functionality itself through separate apps, just like it does on iOS and Android. The Windows Phone 8.1 Update is expected to arrive in early April, but that date could change if any delays occur in the mean time.
One of the cool things about Dish Network is that with its Hopper Whole home DVR system you can watch your favorite shows from anywhere using apps. The apps let you catch up with shows you miss on the road and were previously offered for Android and iOS devices only.
Dish has announced that it is now supporting another popular platform with a new Dish Anywhere app that has just launched. The app is now available for the Kindle Fire HDX line of tablets. The app is available now on the Amazon Appstore.
The app gives Kindle Fire HDX tablet users the ability to watch their DVR recordings, TV programs, and on demand titles away from home. The app only works with the Hoppe DVR that has Sling built-in. The app will work when the table is connected to Wi-Fi or mobile broadband.
XMBC recently made an announcement about its BETA 1 edition of the new media center software: V13.0 codenamed "Gotham". The team says that they have worked hard on this project and made improvements since the release of the older 12.0 release.
The new XMBC interface comes with a lot of features based on the user's feedback and requests. Some of those features are Android Hardware Decoding, Rasberry Pi and Android speed improvements, Stereoscopic 3D Rendering better touchscreen support, better audio engines and other setting improvements. The team assured that this version of XMBC should run on Android 4.0 and higher for ARM and x86 architectures. Users required this software to run smoothly on Rasberry Pi and Android, of which the team was able to work on it and make improvements. More specifically: opening and browsing libraries, loading images and initial starting of videos. For 3D lovers, XMBC now supports SBS, TAB, anaglyph and interlaced.
Microsoft's answer to Apple's personal digital assistant, Siri, is coming with Windows Phone 8.1. Cortana has been teased by Microsoft to The Verge, where it will go head-to-head with Google Now and Apple's Siri.
Windows Phone 8.1's built-in search functionality which usually leans on Bing, will be shifted over to Cortana. Cortana will appear as a circular animated icon instead of the female character in Halo, with the diital voice assistant animating when it's speaking or thinking. This makes Cortana a much more personal experience versus the invisible, and sometimes helpful Siri.
Cortana will allow Windows Phone users to customize the assistant to their liking, where users can call people by their name, or set nicknames to their BFFs. Cortana is also capable of saving information and data in a Notebook system, which allows Cortana to access information such as location data, behaviors, personal information, reminders, and contact information.