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If you frequently order things from Amazon, you know that it can be a worrisome process if a package has to be left by the door of your house with no one there to get it. There are some products that you might not want to go to your house even if someone is there to receive them, gifts are a good example. Amazon started rolling out its Lockers delivery service a few years ago.
Early on, the lockers could be found in Staples and other locations. Staples has since cancelled the deal and no longer has Lockers in its locations. Originally, all you could do was pick up the items you ordered at the Lockers location, but Amazon is now taking returns at the same Lockers.
The lockers return service works much like the delivery service. Amazon will send the person making a return a code to unlock the locker. Boxes up to one square foot in size can be placed inside. By taking returns at the Lockers location, Amazon can presumably save money on shipping since the delivery driver will be there dropping off packages for delivery.
The Nest smart thermostat has been available for people to buy in the US for a longtime now. Not too long ago, Google purchased Nest and kept the people behind the product turning the team into the Google hardware group.
If you live in the UK and have been waiting to get your hands-on a Nest thermostat, it has now launched in your country. As of today, the Nest thermostat can be purchased in the UK starting at £179. That price includes free installation within about ten days of purchase.
If you want the Nest and need it installed faster, you can pay £249 and get the Nest with FAST installation within 3-4 days. The thermostat has the same features and style in the UK that it offers in the US. An accessory stand will be available for users who don't want to install it on the wall.
HP has taken a beating on its purchase of WebOS from Palm. The sell off of WebOS left many investors in the computer maker upset. They were angry enough that they filed a class action suit against HP. That suit now has a settlement offer on the table.
HP has agreed to a $57 million settlement that will be placed into an interest-earning escrow account. The money will sit there until the judge presiding over the case decides whether he feels that the deal is good enough. The suit was filed by some major investors of HP after the company talked up its major WebOS plans only to back out and sell the asset off later.
The plaintiffs are a number of institutional investors that are angry about what HP said publicly and planned privately to do. The suit that was filed lists information given from unnamed HP employees that claims while HP was saying it would flood the market with WebOS devices; it didn't plan to launch the first devices using the OS until 2013.
When John Carmack left the walls of id Software for Oculus VR, we knew good things were about to happen, and it was a time when the thought of the world's largest social network acquiring a virtual reality start up were far, far from your mind. Carmack, the Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR, has finally weighed in on Facebook acquiring the company he just joined.
"Titans" is a term Carmack used to talk about Facebook and Oculus VR, where he said: "The fairly rapid involvement of the Titans is inevitable, and the real question is how deeply to partner with, and who. Honestly, I wasn't expecting Facebook (or this soon). I wasn't personally involved in any of the negotiations - I spent an afternoon talking technology with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg, and the next week I find out that he bought Oculus".
People have concerns, thinking that Facebook will be the end of Oculus VR - something that I'm going to write about in a few days when I get home - but Carmack has said: "There is a case to be made for being like Valve, and trying to build a new VR ecosystem from the ground up. This is probably what most of the passionate fans wanted to see. The difference is that, for years, the industry thought Valve was nuts, and they had the field to themselves. Valve deserves all their success for having the vision and perseverance to see it through to the current state".
Philips has unveiled an interesting new product for the people out there that are into smart lighting and the ability to create custom light scenes. Philips already has a complete line of hue bulbs that can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet.
The company has now rolled out a high-tech light switch called the hue tap. The switch is powered by kinetic energy and needs no battery or hard wiring to connect. The hue tap has four buttons that you can bind light scene creations for times when a tablet or smartphone running the app isn't available.
The tap of a button can change between those light creations and turn the lights off as well. The tap gets its power by gathering the energy from the tap of your fingers on the switch. The switch does require the hue bridge that is found in all starter kits to work. Philips will launch the tap in Europe and the US this summer for $59.95.
Music streaming is big business, and for companies like Spotify, that business cost money. One of the best way to raise extra funds is to let the public buy into your company, and it appears that Spotify is going to do just that. Rumors have began appearing that Spotify could be looking to take its company public before the end of the year.
Back in February Reuters reported that they had came across a job listing that indicated that Spotify was looking for an External Reporting Specialist that would prepare the company for SEC filing, and compile all the reports needed to be SEC compliant. Spotify is the leader in a heavily competitive market, but does that mean that the company can sustain that number one position as companies like Google and Beats by Dre have new music streaming services that are continuing to grow in popularity? Only time will tell...
The iconic Apple logo on the back of an iPhone is something that Google doesn't have going for it, but this looks like it could all change. The new HTC One M8 or Samsung Galaxy S5 upon first being booted up will display to users "Powered by Android".
Google is mandating that the phrase "Powered by Android" be used during the boot animation on new smartphones. Pushing this further, both HTC and Samsung are both using the classic Android logo that was used as the boot animation on the original Android phone, HTC's G1 device. We should see this rolling out across devices going into the future, and I think this is the big lead up to the true competitor to the iPhone 6, the Nexus 6.
Kim Dotcom is one of those people that I liken to the gunslingers of wild west legend, or something like Zoro or RobinHood even. Even though he faces very serious allegations that could land him in prison for quite a long time, he never gives up and continues to champion for internet freedom, and net neutrality.
Dotcom's latest venture is not a new file-sharing website, or even attempting to dominate the latest first person shooter style video game. In fact, Dotcom has decided to move into a more political world where he can influence the path that government's take when it comes to internet legislation. Today Kim Dotcom officially launched the new political party which he named the "Internet Party," and has released a few videos detailing the party's new mission, and goals.
You don't have to go far to see someone walking around and texting on their iPhone. you also don't have to wait long to see some of these people run into something or someone while looking at their phone instead of what's going on around them. Apple has a patent application that shows a system called transparent texting.
The idea is that the rear camera of the smartphone would be used to grab a live video image of what is behing the smartphone. That way the person texting and walking could see what is behind the phone as they move around. Naturally, this would require the person texting to hold the phone straight up in front of their face.
Most of the people I see are walking and looking down at the phone. In that instance, having what is behind the phone in the background behind a text conversation would do no good. The Apple patent app was field with the USPTO on Thursday of this week according to reports.
There is no shortage of LED light bulbs on the market today. Some of them are nothing more than a replacement bulb for a normal incandescent that will last longer and use less power. Other LED bulbs have smart tech that allows you to control the brightness and sometimes the color using a Wi-Fi network.
Samsung has announced a new LED bulb that is called the Smart Bulb. Rather than using Wi-Fi to control the brightness, the Smart bulb uses Bluetooth. Owners of the bulb can connect to it using an application on a tablet or smartphone and directly control the bulb.
The Smart Bulb has the ability to be dimmed down to 10% brightness and is CCT tunable from 2700K to 6500K. That means you can control the color of the white light it produces. It doesn't product colored light like some others on the market.