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Nest Labs has issued a recall on 440,000 of its Protect smoke alarms due to an issue with the Wave feature. The issue with that Wave feature can disable the smoke alarm accidentally. Nest's Wave feature was designed to allow the user to disable the alarm in non-emergency situations by waving their hand in front of a sensor.
Nest has rolled out an update to the alarm that is applied via Wi-Fi. That update will disable the Wave feature while allowing other features of the smoke detector to function. Nest Protect smoke alarms do more than just detect smoke in the event of a fire.
Oculus VR is the company that was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion a couple months back and maker of the Oculus Rift headset. The Oculus Rift VR headset has been an interesting item that many people are looking at as the future of gaming. ZeniMax, the parent company behind some popular video games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls, has now sued Oculus.
The suit alleges that Oculus VR "illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology, and infringing ZeniMax copyrights and trademarks." The suit also accuses Oculus of breach of contract, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. The suit was filed in a District Court in Texas.
Consumers interested in purchasing gold and silver will now be able to use bitcoins to make purchases from Euro Pacific Precious Metals. It's a rather curious pairing as founder Peter Schiff noted he originally wasn't a big fan of the digital cryptocurrency.
"My views have not evolved," Schiff told CNBC. "A lot of people still own bitcoins, and for now, they are still valuable. So I certainly want to make it easier for bitcoin owners to use their bitcoins to purchase gold and silver from my company."
Late last year, Schiff claimed that bitcoin essentially was nothing more than a fad, describing it as a "modern-day tulip mania," and that he didn't believe it was "going to end up being a source of commerce for the world." It makes sense that letting customers pay with bitcoin, which more consumers are interested in doing, is just practical business.
Streaming video is a big business all around the world with firms like Netflix leading the pack. Samsung is working on its own streaming video offering for Asia with a service called Project Glued. Project Glued will be available in Q3 and when it launches it will have a batter name.
The service will give users the ability to rent an entire season of a TV show. While it is aimed at Asian users, the service will only offer TV shows from the US and UK to start with. Customers will be able to stream or download each episode in HD to their Samsung devices.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that a public utility company in the US has been compromised. It's unclear which utility company was hacked at this time. Homeland Security says that the utility's control system was accessible via internet-facing hosts and used a simple password system.
The system was compromised using a brute-force attack with the hackers trying different passwords until a correct one was found. Investigators say that the systems at the utility company were exposed to numerous security threats and previous intrusion activity was noted.
VR headsets have been in the news a lot of late with the major purchase of the Oculus Rift VR headset and talk of Sony Project Morpheus. The problem with those two VR headsets is that they are very expensive. An Oculus Rift will set you back around $350 and when it gets old, you need to spend that much again to upgrade.
A new VR headset has turned up in Europe called the Virzzmo. Rather than being an actual headset like the Oculus, this device is a harness system for your head that will hold your smartphone in front of your face. It doesn't only hold your smartphone in front of your face, it also has some optical lenses inside that can turn what you see into stereoscopic 3D.
Verizon Wireless has announced the launch of a new high-speed wireless service called XLTE. XLTE is actually a rebranding of an existing offering that Verizon has had for a while previously called AWS. AWS is a 700 MHz spectrum that will be called XLTE in the markets where it is offered moving forward.
Verizon says that the new XLTE service will allow devices capable of operating on that network to get faster data speeds and additional bandwidth during high-traffic periods on the network. Sprint made a similar move to get bandwidth for people to use during peak times with its Spark service.
Action camera maker GoPro is expected to raise around $100 million during its initial public offering (IPO), though investors might be initially hesitant to jump onboard. GoPro's revenue in 2013 was $985 million, an 87 percent year-over-year increase in 2012, as net income also nearly doubled from $32 million up to $61 million in 2013.
GoPro announced its plans to go public in February, after the SEC approved the paperwork during its confidential submission. Despite GoPro's popularity among athletes, the tech industry has been relatively harsh for companies trying to go public - but GoPro's ability to ramp up profitability should help reassure investors that GoPro going public can be successful.
However, revenue growth is slowing - and competition is increasing, with a number of companies offering similar high-definition sports cameras - though GoPro remains the most recognizable brand name currently available.
Groupon has rolled out a new checkout system for companies that use its groupon promotion business service. The new checkout system is based on an iPad and the company expects the new checkout system to be adopted by tens of thousands of business that offer Groupon deals.
The new checkout system lets business track cash and debit card transactions. The iPad device replaces a traditional register. Customers will redeem Groupon vouchers by telling the cashier their name. Customers who have the Groupon app on their smartphone and have Bluetooth loaded will see their discount recognized automatically when they enter the store.
Currently, Netflix has a navigation scheme that relies mostly on grids of shows that you may or may not be interested in. There are some shows that are recommended for you based on your past watching habits. Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt has talked a bit about what the company sees for the future recently.
Hunt says that the streaming video service will eventually move beyond the grids of movies and TV shows that we see currently. In the future, the service will be mostly based on recommended content for users to enjoy. Hunt said, "Our vision is, you won't see a grid and you won't see a sea of titles."