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Apple working on smart home gear says rumor

We can thank companies like Nest for raising awareness about home automation and related gear and thanks to that raised awareness more companies are looking to get into the home automation market. One of the companies that are looking to get into the home automation market is Apple according to a rumor.

 

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That rumor claims that Apple will be putting out a line of home automation products that integrate deeply with existing Apple devices. Rumor sources haven't said what sort of products Apple is developing, but the project is said to be past the exploratory phase.

 

Rumor sources have claimed that Apple isn't building gear to compete directly against Nest; presumably, that means no smart thermostats or smoke detectors. Apple is targeting devices with wider usage than the gear Nest is producing. Exactly when these Apple home automation products will hit the market is unknown.

Crytek is in a world of pain right now, isn't paying its staff on time

We reported a few days ago now that Crytek was beginning to walk into some trouble, with developers not flocking to its CryEngine for game development. But now there's multiple outlets reporting that the developer behind Crysis is in a spot of bother over not paying its employees on time.

 

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The developer hasn't been paying its employees on time for a few months now, with multiple games being cancelled, some of which were original prototypes, and even the sequel to the Xbox One exclusive, Ryse. Current and former employees of Crytek explain that the company has a tense, unstable environment which stems from poor communication and a number of high-level staff leading the company's studios in both Britain and Germany. One employee has said that over 100 people have left the company since March.

 

Crytek has reportedly been experiencing some issues for quite a while now - personally, ever since it shifted focus to consoles over pushing graphical boundaries with CryEngine and Crysis on PC - with multiple contracts cut from the company. Crytek is a privately owned company, so when it loses a multi-million-dollar contract, it hurts, a lot.

Continue reading 'Crytek is in a world of pain right now, isn't paying its staff on time' (full post)

Amazon to launch takeout food delivery service via Amazon Local

There are a number of local food delivery services out there like GrubHub and others that you can use to order up some local takeout when you are hungry. A report has surfaced that Amazon is out to launch its own local delivery service as well.

 

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According to the report, Amazon will launch the food delivery service as part of its Amazon Local offering. This new delivery service was reportedly set to go live in Seattle first and was activated via the Amazon Local app last night.

 

However, the service was turned off again shortly after it launched. It is expected to go live again soon. One source claiming to be familiar with Amazon's plans says that the food delivery service will see a very gradual rollout to other areas.

GoPro sets share price at $24 as IPO is set for today

GoPro is one of the most popular action camera manufacturers in the world. You can count on seeing people participating in sports and activities of all types using these cameras to record their antics. GoPro has been a private company since its inception, but this week that will all change.

 

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GoPro is going public with an IPO and the company has now announced the share price. Each share during the IPO will be offered for $24, which is the upper end of the range GoPro offered in its IPO filing. The camera maker is expected to raise over $427 million when the IPO launches.

 

An option is available for underwriters that could allow them to buy additional shares in the company. If that happens, GoPro could raise up to $491.3 million. GoPro will begin trading today on Nasdaq with the symbol GPRO. With shares set at $24 each, the company is valued at about $3 billion.

Verizon turns free LTE data back on for Chromebook Pixel owners

A number of Chromebook Pixel owners were very angry when the free data that came with their Pixel notebooks was turned off only a year into the two free years promised. Google had nothing to do with the data being turned off; Verizon is the one that made that decision.

 

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Google said earlier this week that it would hand out $150 gift cards in an effort to appease angry customers who were already talking about a suit in some cases. Verizon has now announced that it will be turning the free data back on.

 

Verizon was to provide two years of free data with Chromebook Pixel owners getting 100MB monthly at no cost. It's unclear if angry customers are the reason Verizon is turning the data back on or if the data plan ended early by accident. Verizon said in a statement over e-mail: "We understand that a very small number of Chromebook Pixel customers may have had a promo end prematurely. We apologize for this, and will work with these customers to address the situation".

Lenovo files for patent on Google Glass competitor

Google Glass isn't exactly widespread in adoption just yet, mostly due to the high price of the wearable device. That doesn't mean that other electronics firms aren't looking to challenge Google in that market. Lenovo has filed a patent app for a Glass competitor called Electronic Device and Sound Capturing Method.

 

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Art with the patent makes it clear that Lenovo is looking at a wearable device looking very much like Glass, even if the name of the patent doesn't hint at a wearable device. Lenovo's patent shows an audio and video recorder and VOD displays.

 

The patent also lists bone conduction microphones in the earpieces and wireless communications. Descriptions in the patent app call the product out as a recording device, which is apparently a way for Lenovo to try to avoid suits from Google. There is no indication of if this product will come to market.

Twitter tests new retweet with comment feature

Twitter users have had the ability to quote another tweet for a while that gives you the option to add some of your own comment to a tweet. When you only have 140 characters to work with, having to quote a tweet in your tweet leaves little room for your thoughts. Twitter is now testing a new feature called retweet with comment.

 

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The new feature allows the user to retweet the original tweet and add their own comments without using any of their 140 characters for the quote. Random twitter users are now seeing the retweet with comment feature right now after the feature was tested with some twitter workers internally.

 

While this new feature sounds like a really good idea, there is no guarantee that it will be permanently implemented into the twitter app and website.

Google offers gift card to angry Chromebook Pixel owners

One of the big selling points for the Google Chromebook Pixel notebook was the fact that the machine had free data from Verizon Wireless. The free data pool was small from the get go with only 100MB of free data each month for two years.

 

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I'm sure that Verizon had hoped some of the Chromebook users would see the need for more data and buy upgrades. Verizon made many owners of that Pixel notebook very angry when it cut the free data off early. Verizon began to turn off the free data only a year into the two-year agreement. Some users began threatening Google with a lawsuit over the cut off.

 

Google has now stepped in and is looking to sooth some of the ruffled feathers of users with a gift card with $150 of free money to spend. The money can be used to pay for additional data to cover the second year of ownership or other items. Verizon sells 3GB of data that can be used over 90 days for $20 meaning that $150 will more than pay for an extra year.

Foxconn chairman asks for patience as sales slow for company

The fortunes of Foxconn, the maker of most of the Apple gadgets on the market, are directly tied to the fortunes of the companies it manufactures goods for. That means as sales slow for the companies it builds products for, its sales slow as well. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou is urging shareholders to be patient and allow the company time to invest in new businesses as sales slow.

 

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The new businesses that Gou and Foxconn are hoping to invest in include car electronics and cloud computing among others. Gou said during an annual meeting, "Please be patient, don't be in a hurry. I'm also the biggest shareholder, so if it's bad for Hon Hai it's also bad for me."

 

Foxconn also plans to increase its investments in robotics and add additional skilled jobs as the company seeks to meet its 10% growth projections. Gou has met with other companies seeking expansion and those companies include Tesla and SoftBank Corp among others.

Oculus VR scoops up the team that helped make the Xbox 360 controller

Carbon Design Group, the company that helped make the Xbox 360 controller (and its transforming d-pad) and the Kinect for Microsoft, has been acquired by Oculus VR. Better yet, Oculus VR has said that it has been working with Carbon "for nearly a year on multiple unannounced projects".

 

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Oculus VR said on its website: "We're thrilled to announce that we've agreed to acquire the Carbon Design team, one of the premier industrial design and product engineering teams in the country, with over 50 awards to their name. As part of the deal, the team will officially become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus, operating from the Carbon studio in the Seattle area. They'll also be working closely with the Oculus R&D team based out of Redmond".

 

Carbon Design Group has been in business for over 20 years, and in that time has been a product design and development consultancy firm that has developed consumer, industrial and medical products for companies all across the world. Carbon hasn't just been working on video game consumer electronics, it has helped design computer mice, air purifiers, medical imaging equipment and much more.

Continue reading 'Oculus VR scoops up the team that helped make the Xbox 360 controller' (full post)

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